The Reason Escapes Me

Pickle. Water. Write it down. Splash some in your eyes and make them sting. It stings! It's stinging! Hallaluya! I can feel the spices burrowing into my vision, blurring and burning. The hairs on my ears tickle, and I pinch them in twos and threes and furs and rip them out completely—making the sound of dirt crumbling and roots ripping right out of the ground. Looking down to inspect them between my fingertips, the burning tear drops washes them away.

Such liquid words flower forever, covering the hillsides of the valley below—where the shopping centers are abandoned, and all the streets are empty. I've only imagined places such as this existing, abandoned, and forgotten, then discovered by chance with the lucky winner being me. Inside these places, it's easy to feel scared when where you are now looks like a place where someone else has been. It's spooky, even though they have all gone, and spookier because they are still. Gone because they had a reason to leave—leaving the reason behind, abandoned, hoping never to see it again. It's this very reason that resonates throughout the valley—silent whispers carried in the wind, racing up the mountains then sliding back down again. I can feel it on my face, and taste it with my tongue. It tastes like something happened when I feel it in my lungs. I suck it in deeper, and fill my stomach with reserve. My eyes pop open when I feel the power... Full surge! Full surge! It feels like my lungs have to pee... no... it's more like diarrhea... no... maybe I meant more like puking cause it's coming out of my mouth... and nose... here it goes...

The reason escapes me—Whoooooooosh!—blowing down the walls. I'm still blowing—the walls are still falling—one on top of the other, in vertical stacks sandwiched together. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap-Clop. Backing up the hillside, they slide up and over the one underneath—the top one sliding higher, stretching out the middle side by side together, paving a path out of walls all the way to the highest peak.

I sit down on the last one that is now the first, with my back to the mountain, I breathe in and in some more, filling my lungs up and even more than before. My eyes burst open again until they can't take it anymore, and my stomach muscles squeeze this time much harder making the wind sound more like a roar. I slide up the mountain, all the way to the top. The walls feel like glass on my bottom, as if they weren't there at all. I look down and the mountain is below me—tiny and crawling with ants. From way up here, I see the big picture that I live in, and notice that the reason that escaped me was blowing too hard.

I Can Make You Disappear

I see you, but I'm choosing to ignore you. You might be able to see me standing here ignoring you, but I don't see you, or hear you. My eyes look away from you—fixed on wherever you are not. I already have forgotten you, swept away with the passing crowd. I imagined they would be coming this way, shoulder to shoulder, blurring their faces with their fast paces. All together they look like a mass of trenchcoats and briefcases, floating past and all around me like ghosts. Standing among them, I am surrounded. They brush up against me and I bounce around back-and-forth-and-around the material and knock against-and-off-onto-another briefcase carried in a hurry—gripped tight together in ghostly invisible hands.

Cold Finger Ear Ache

My fingers are cold. The skin on the tips of my fingers all the way up to my knuckle sandwich are cold as cuts.

My ears ache. I wish I could massage them with exotic oils. Complementary oils—filled with compliments and oil—smelling sweet and musty, sour and dusty.

Above and beyond—because I'm making something special bitches.


Focused Breathing

I'm trying to relax. I'm trying to focus on my breathing. I'm closing my eyes and looking for the deepest darkest spaces to fly into. I'm breathing in... one. Breathing out... two. Breathing in... three. Breathing out... four. Breathing in... five. Breathing out... six. Breathing in and out until I count to ten. I decide I'm not relaxed enough, so I breathe in and count again.

Breathe in... one... focus on the black. Breathe out... two... listen to the breath, it sounds like wind. Breathe in... three... wait for the wind. Breathe out... four... I'm flying toward the dark, floating forward through the darkness towards the darkness within. Breathe in... five... I can still hear muffled thoughts. Breathe out... six... further now, the thoughts sound farther. Breathe in... seven... waiting in darkness. Breathe out... eight... faster, quieter, further, farther, darker. Breathe in... nine... I could go further forever. Breathe out... ten... begin again.


Now At This Moment No.1

I am going to attempt a writing exercise that is supposed to encourage you to focus on "feeling the actual." According to the assignment, I am to just let go, to sit back and relax, and for a few moments write down sentences stating what I am aware of at this moment. I must start each sentence with the word "now" or "at this moment." I am choosing to alternate between the two and see what the pattern looks like through the use of repetition.

Now I am beginning my assignment. At this moment I am listening to the sound of my typewriter. At this moment I realized that I should have used the word "now" to start this sentence, and am frantically trying to make the decision as to whether I will start the next sentence with a "now" or an "at this moment." Now I am moving on. Now I am letting go. At this moment I am hearing the music that Jason has chosen to play on the stereo. Now I am listening to the words that are trying to attack my passive observations. At this moment I am forgetting that I was trying for some structure with this experiment. Now I'm being tugged mentally.

Now At This Moment No.2

Now I am starting over on the back side of the sheet of paper. At this moment I am wishing I didn't label this as the back side of the sheet of paper, as it could just as easily be the front depending on the way you approach it. Now I caught a glimpse of my water glass out of the edge of my vision, my periphery.

Now I have my attention distracted by the computer mouse that is napping on the upper left edge of it's mouse pad that is sitting next to this typewriter, on the right side. Now I am making sure to think about my right and left to be sure that I got them correct.

At this moment I am wishing that my typewriter didn't slide around so much. At this moment I am glad that it slides because it reminds me, at this moment, that I am typing fast enough for the sliding to be noticeable. Now I am feeling happy with this exercise. At this moment, I am really happy with the sound of this typewriter—the sound of the little metal arms beating their tiny fists on this page, as hard or as soft as I tell myself that I want to make them punch.

Now I am distracted by Jason's phone conversation. I was able to move past the initial ring, but at the moment I can tell that he is upset at all the racket that is coming from my typewriter. Now I am left to be in this room alone, as Jason couldn't hear his conversation over all the noise and he closed himself in the back room. At this moment I can still recall the slam of the bedroom door, followed by the silent pause, then his voice exclaiming an apology for the door's slamming. It was the draft that produced the force, not his muscles in reflex to the noise.

Now I am lost.

Now, I am realizing that I separated the start of this sentence with a comma, and ended it with one too, it can keep going on and on forever if you only end things with a comma instead of a period, there is no end to where it can take you, now I think I just came up with another writing exercise of my own, ending sentences with commas, and pulling out of them their own guts, in long stretches, for miles and miles, until you end up dragging the body-end through their own drippings.

Now At This Moment No.3

Now I am going to attempt the same writing exercise, but instead of writing "now" and "at this moment" I will attempt to only write down what comes after I think about writing them, that way, where I place the period represents where the "now" and "at this moment" would have been.

I am ready to start. My fingers are frantically feeling the plastic keys, wondering which letters to press. I am hoping. I am at a loss.

I can't seem to stop myself from thinking about how hard it is to stop myself from wanting to write the word "now" or the words "at this moment." I am trying to find something else to capture my immediate interest.

I hear a car swoosh down the street. The car is much further up the hill than I can imagine, but I can still hear it. Cars are returning to swoosh again. It sounds like wind. I am getting the two swooshes confused with the other. The cars and the wind sound the same. I am associating the swoosh of the cars as hot wind, like asphalt, blown up from the tires into the wind above the street, and up the stairs of my apartment complex, through the screen door, past my living room, and through my ears, cooling my arms and neck before it is blown past and out the back door, the screen door in the back of the house. That's where I prefer to smoke my cigarettes, on the back stairs, at the foot of the screen door at the back of my apartment.

I am thinking how I was just back there smoking a cigarette a few minutes ago, and reviewing the previous writing exercise in my mind. I got distracted by the leaves that were growing between the cracks in the concrete by the stairs that lead themselves down into the basement underneath my apartment. I think the leaves are part of a dandelion that got trapped there but is making the best of it.

Now At This Moment No.4

I see that my water glass is empty. The only water that is left in there looks like tears clinging to the side of the glass, with a little puddle on the bottom that looks as if it makes up the shape of a country, or more like a small cluster of islands trapped inside a glass ocean.

I reposition myself, folding my left leg over my right. I can feel the thigh stretching itself, the left one, as the rest of the leg spills over the right one, with my left foot being pulled down by gravity. My shoes feel sticky because I'm not wearing any socks today. It's hot and my feet are wet-cool, and the insides of my shoes feel cool-moist. Repositioning my legs now, kicking my feet back and under the seat of my chair. My toes are touching the floor, and my feet feel folded in half, with my heels up in the air doing a headstand—a toestand.

Stretching my back off the back of my office chair that itches my bottom and underneath my thighs, my chair squeaks when I move and sounds like a fart. I lift my left butt cheek up, and tilt my right shoulder down, and out escapes the chair-fart that is actually a squeak—the sound of plastic and metal releasing the pressure that I place upon it. The office chair holds me up. The office chair supports me.

I breath out a breath, realizing that I tend to hold it while I am typing. I might just be unaware of my breathing while I am typing, like I become aware after I use the word just to justify something that just happened. Using the word just is just something that I have become aware of lately, and I'm trying to keep myself from using it too often.

Scratching my neck. The hairs on the back of my head still feel like they are moving, unsettled, itching still, but in a pleasant way. My knuckles ache for me to crack them again. They are practically begging. But like my craving to stop and smoke a cigarette, I realize that I take to cracking them more that I should. It is a bad habit that feels so good. Sometimes I don't realize that I am doing it until I hear the cracks popping all at once, or in little rows. It sounds almost exactly like the clink of my Zippo lighter... no... the little ding of the bell on this typewriter that tells me when I have gotten to the end of the line sounds more like the little clink of my Zippo. My knuckles are definitely more of a cracking or popping sound. All my joints seem to crack and twist as I bend them out of my sitting position. I bend my elbows and the muscles in my arms feel as if they are tearing at the back of my skin—louder around the joints where things have been worn thin.

Pushing my hair back, I see my reflection in the glass of the computer monitor that I have put to sleep behind this typewriter. I pick at my eyes and rub my nose. Scratch my beard. Shift my weight. Now my right leg has found itself crossed over the left. I push my shoulders forward, and tilt my head back, watching my reflection lean in and lift my chin towards the ceiling. My mouth opens and my breath escapes. "I'm watching you."

I tell myself "I'm watching you" without even having to move my lips. I can understand what was said because I said it to myself.

I hear the second hand on the clock ticking in between bursts of tapping on my typewriter. I wonder how many words I am making appear in between the clicks of the clock, but I can't hear the clicking once I start typing.


Blue Eyes Close

We spent a warm day out on the lake,
isolated and alone.

Just us.

Nobody else knew we were even there. No boats passed. No hiker’s foot was to be heard. It felt as if my wish of having him all to myself had been granted.

The lake was so calm it felt unnatural—smooth on top and crystal clear all the way through to the bottom. I asked him if he had ever seen anything like this before, and he looked at me and smiled—his eyes reflected bluer than the water’s reflection of the sky.

He took off his shirt—peeling it up his chest with his forearms, then over his head by lifting his hands toward the sky. I watched the sun rise gently up his navel, then across his chest, and appear to slow down suddenly as it reached up his neck. He smiled when the sun kissed his lips, and closed his eyes while the last of his shirt passed through his hair.

I took off my shirt—lifting it slowly in front of my eyes, so I could still watch his movement through the tiny holes in my clothes, slowly peeling them back until the sun would bleach them close.

Shirtless, he appeared closer. I stood still to see if he was approaching. His eyes seemed to grow bluer and closer, and closer, and bluer, and bluer.

I felt the hair on his chest touch mine, as he leaned in to tickle my ear with a whisper. “This is beautiful.”

He kept his head close, and breathed gently through his nose, brushing my neck with each breath. I counted four warm, and five cold before he leaned back to show me his blue eyes close.


Lung Hole

Taking a drink of water.


I made that sound after the water slipped past the lung hole in my throat.

I left out the the little gurgle that escaped before the AAAAHHH! Then I put it back in once I remembered it was there.


What Just Happened

Cleanse. Cleanse. Cleanse your thoughts. Clear your mind of the things you did today. Let go, and write down the first thing that you happen to hear in the back of your thoughts—something trying to escape and surprise you. Words of wisdom or even words of a ridiculous nature. Making sense is not the point. Making something happen is happening as if it just happened.