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.

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.

Effie at Sound Level

Ø

The real price of your handbag involves multiple lives and wages of economies. Repair your brogues with a local cobbler, on the Main (sic. high) Street.

Crystal palaces aside dashes bisecting Eisenhower’s tar strips for the machines of some imagined war. The ones we drive and call highways. Four ways. Parallel, running lanes. Bits of varicose veins on this nation’s aging skin. The final passage of the Kon-Tiki, Ra Expeditions.

And, the cars passing by on the high road of the hilly bowl a’layed before the Sound, sound like currents running through macro-Boolean gates.

{Red light, stop.}

{Green light, go.}

{Yellow light…}

Use your best judgement.

~

I sit in reverie before an altered, candle flame.

Through my open windows, the sound of gravel ground under pedestrian boots crunches now and then. A honking car horn’s reassurance, echoing, as someone redundantly clicks a particular button affixed to a keychain.

The blast of a ferry foghorn. The doppleganging drone of the passing by train’s horn. These things sound like the call to the adytum of the temple.

I enjoy the world immediately around me, settling itself towards bed. Cars are little pups, turning circles til all tired out. A slowly descending cacophony.

The difference between darkness and the absence of light.

I consider the chartreuse evening and imagine you toiling the earth, tilling, to sow your seed

beneath the pylon of the pit.

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.

Period Pains – Homework (Peel Session)

No rights: homage.

/Do your homework/

/hand it in/

/do your homework/

/you can’t win/.

The newly hired, seventeen year old busser arrives for her fifth shift.

I have been training her; and, she is under the mistaken impression that she answers to me.

She walks up to me and says: I know I’m supposed to wear all black, but I felt like wearing green today.

She wears a lovely army-style green button down shirt.

Am I busted or does it really matter?: she asks.

Yeah, it matters: I laugh: They’re gonna make you go home and change, I bet, but talk to J.

J. sends her home to change clothes.

I think: she’s gonna fit in just fine, on this isle of misfit toys, if she can deal with wearing the uniformed colour.

A hallow on the high street.

I arrive at the restaurant through the back door.

I walk through the kitchen into the back office to drop off my coat and purse.

A book of poems by René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke sits on the employee table. I know it has been dropped off for me to take and read.

But, there is no note and no one says anything of it.

I do not bring it up.

The community blocks off the high street this evening.

No cars are allowed. Only hoards of costumed pedestrians.

The restaurant is booked. Chock full of reservations.

We are situated in the heart of the affair.

The previous owner, who retired two years ago arrives

to distribute candy with the new owner.

I introduce myself and

open with: so you released this place two years ago?

Yup. After twenty one years.: he shrugs.

Did you found the joint?

No. We inherited/bought it from the previous owners.

Was it called the same name when you took over, or did you change it?

Yup. It was called by the same name.

Do you want some hot tea to take with you? It is cold out there.

I want a glass of chardonnay at exactly seven o’clock, when this ends.

I make a sticky note reminder and post it where it will continue to catch our bartender’s eyes and thus,

Attention.

The seemingly ancient regulars begin arriving. None of the regulars made a reservation

for

Tonight.

Every reservation includes a note: window table requested.

Specters at a feast, watching the separate feast of the youngest generation,

through our looking glass.

The tables have been rearranged. The layout of the floor altered to allow more tables to be in front of the huge frame windows.

I intuit how unwelcomely our regulars perceive this change.

Understand the regulars eat every night here and have done so for over a decade.

Well, I suppose we’ll sit at this table. We want to watch the trick or treaters.: they huff, already walking towards the desired table.

In anticipation of this, i have placed placards on tables reserved for those who called ahead.

It bears their name and time of arrival.

I fear this one is reserved. I can seat you here or here. Anywhere there is no placard.

But, we never call ahead: they protest.

A lot of people did: I say.

I think: how do you not know what to expect tonight? You have been eating here for decades.

None of the reservations do I recognize.

The aura of the restaurant becomes maroon instead of its usual sunset orange.

{I hear a whisper say: tulpa.

I whisper: heyoka reads, tulpa.}

An exasperated, decorous but uncostumed, regular flags me over.

She and her companion dine with a couple I have not seen before.

[Trans. They planned to impress their friends here, this evening.]

She has been painstakingly doing panto. Craning her neck, trying desperately to espy the youngbloods in the street.

Yes, Misses ______?: I say.

I don’t know any of these people you have given the good tables to. All these people made reservations?: she accuses.

Yup. They all did. And, they all specified they prefer a window seat. You know, I don’t recognize any of them either, yet something led them here. Kind of magical, huh?

If those people leave, can we move to their table?: she responds.

Perhaps.: I allude, walking away.

These reservations are specters of the feast of the specters at the feast of future ghosts.

To them, i am tonight’s hostess.

Like them, I remember I have died before, will die again, and

I forget to remember it.

I will wake up.

I will fall asleep.

I will sleepwalk.

I will lucid dream.

I will remember to not forget that I am going to fail to remember

Again and again.

In delicious, concentric, Socratic circles,

Ever issuing out to the ether.

The fall of a trip.

A pair of mended pantyhose, rationed from back during war time, hang on a wire, until dry, next to a patio railing lined with salted peanuts made as an offering to the nervous yet inquisitive Stellar’s Jays.

How I appear; how I am; how I perceive.

I first steeped in the blues near the delta shores of Muscle Shoals, as a child.

Families singing songs since forgotten by most places where time flows through you more quickly.

/ the grandfather clock was too tall for the shelf, but as it weighed,

not a penny,

not a penny, weighed more/

A pendulous arm with a weighted ball

pivots about the point of suspension.

Ticking out time in mono sound.

Watch it and I will show you how that strange land taught me to turn five seconds into three æons.

And, I write these words, first, by longhand to show how inane I can be; and,

to see those recognizing

kindness is kin of open-mindedness.

Sometimes I get a little...:howls the singer.

/And, when nobody’s there to write it, I’m gonna show you everything…/

/and, I can feel it in the silence…/

/why dont you come take a trip with me./

An emptied vessel is not necessarily vacuous; but, to

presume it is craven to be filled, is teleological fallacy.

Without trying,

{still}

a cistern is what it is:

Bits of sand transmuted into glass blown

to be exploded and then recapitulated.

Sea glass is simply sandy trash recycled.

I found the open secret viz a viz a well-marked rabbithole

with a spray painted perimeter to warn that

you fall at your own sweet risk.