Construction Worker

In plump raindrops, the construction worker, with his hard hat and faded denim jeans, dirty-orange safety vest, pulls taut a white string that comes from a manhole in the lane nearest the sidewalk. He labors slowly, like a man pulling a semi; like a centaur. With the rope over his shoulder each step is deliberate as he steps, one by one, away from the manhole. Each step a strain and burden. The object, which he pulls is never seen, always out of sight -much like the ones that are paying him. He puts the rope down, puts his hands on his waist, and stretches his neck. Students walk by, some chatting, some not. The sound of cars driving over the wet pavement rise and fall. Now the man begins to descend into the manhole. After not too long, when he comes back up, he has the other end of the string.

Modernization

While you’re walking down paths of progress, between redbrick post- Victorian apartments and new construction framing, under berry laden but otherwise bare branches, through the din of robins and chickadees, finches and sparrows, the ancient cacophony spills out from every direction, you know it intrinsicly and realize it won’t be long forgotten even in the face of modernization.

Like You Always Used To Do


you look up at the moon tonight, like you always used to do. not the same pale arizona moon, though. the douglas fir points with tri-tips, bent like a phoenix, toward it. clouds pass by swirling and melting. the moon shines with a rainbow halo surrounding it, which changes shape and intensity as the clouds pass. some kind of animal screeches in the tree behind you, you think maybe a baby. from a few blocks away, maybe half a mile, you hear a crash, a thud, and it doesn’t occur to you until moments later, while the car horn continues to blare that its an accident. minutes pass; police sirens. the clouds still pass by, the moon still shines, the branches of the doug-fir still shake in the breeze. a couple more minutes; ambulence sirens wail. that’s when it occurs to you that hope is the same feeling as despair.

Out by the Cedar

Scared, but craving more, I reached with my hand and tugged on the outer rim, she stretched enough to fit my arm in, then my face and suddenly I was pulling myself inside her, her womb.

Sat out by the cedar, lines run along her bark like stretch marks, they seem to be a test of time. She leaned over and said everything’s gonna be just fine, stop trying to live up to good enough, chasing shadows. I know. I know, years ago it was only your burden, now it’s his too. I can’t help it! I said, I’m a child of the eighties, molded by Ray-gun’s greed! Waves of traffic on a distant shore, wrapped in green, shielded by her barrier canopy. Sat in silence, she listened as I tried to repair all those words. Time slowed, until, eventually, it had no meaning. Followed a line of red ants up those stretch marks until we reached a knot, as big as my face, where they seemed to disappear. I felt around the edge, it was warm and soft, like a sea urchin’s belly. So I did what any man would do and leaned my face in. It was dark, but warm, I hadn’t even gotten half way in when I pulled out again. Scared, but craving more, I reached with my hand and tugged on the outer rim, she stretched enough to fit my arm in, then my face and suddenly I was pulling myself inside her, her womb. Was it I that was pulling or she pulling me? perhaps we worked together, until I had no body, or face or any physical characteristics, I was her and she was me and I looked into her heartwood. Kaleidoscopic shades of red filled my vision, a unifying warmth enveloped me and She said: old habits change slowly, with patience, attention and understanding. All you have to do is support him. And when she said him I thought of his face and the pang of despair rippled through my heart, and hers, and we shared the lonely hollowness of fatherhood, knowing that anything we do won’t be good enough, and is bound to make a scar. All the world is conditions, and of conditions there are supporting and unsupporting, choose to be the supporting condition for growth. Then our consciousness expanded; all life is expanding, changing, looking for answers to questions that generate growth. We looked out over the horizon, we were the horizon, and everything we saw was also us, and the warmth radiated over everything. Then I was birthed to the ground in a thump, covered in sap, and bark and red ants. My son stood there, in the dark, cold, wind-swept rain, astonished and he said, da-ad, are you OK? I couldn’t help it, I began to cry. He said something to me and put his hand on my shoulder, and I couldn’t hear him as I looked up her skirt at the knot where I was birthed had disappeared, and I said, not now son, she’s gonna come back to talk to me again. And I cried again. Seeing the repeating, though unable to move, until eventually he went away. Days and nights, months and years have since passed and I still sit at her base, like stone, waiting for her return.

Out by the Cedar

Scared, but craving more, I reached with my hand and tugged on the outer rim, she stretched enough to fit my arm in, then my face and suddenly I was pulling myself inside her, her womb.

Sat out by the cedar, lines run along her bark like stretch marks, they seem to be a test of time. She leaned over and said everything’s gonna be just fine, stop trying to live up to good enough, chasing shadows. I know. I know, years ago it was only your burden, now it’s his too. I can’t help it! I said, I’m a child of the eighties, molded by Ray-gun’s greed! Waves of traffic on a distant shore, wrapped in green, shielded by her barrier canopy. Sat in silence, she listened as I tried to repair all those words. Time slowed, until, eventually, it had no meaning. Followed a line of red ants up those stretch marks until we reached a knot, as big as my face, where they seemed to disappear. I felt around the edge, it was warm and soft, like a sea urchin’s belly. So I did what any man would do and leaned my face in. It was dark, but warm, I hadn’t even gotten half way in when I pulled out again. Scared, but craving more, I reached with my hand and tugged on the outer rim, she stretched enough to fit my arm in, then my face and suddenly I was pulling myself inside her, her womb. Was it I that was pulling or she pulling me? perhaps we worked together, until I had no body, or face or any physical characteristics, I was her and she was me and I looked into her heartwood. Kaleidoscopic shades of red filled my vision, a unifying warmth enveloped me and She said: old habits change slowly, with patience, attention and understanding. All you have to do is support him. And when she said him I thought of his face and the pang of despair rippled through my heart, and hers, and we shared the lonely hollowness of fatherhood, knowing that anything we do won’t be good enough, and is bound to make a scar.  All the world is conditions, and of conditions there are supporting and unsupporting, choose to be the supporting condition for growth. Then our consciousness expanded; all life is expanding, changing, looking for answers to questions that generate growth. We looked out over the horizon, we were the horizon, and everything we saw was also us, and the warmth radiated over everything. Then I was birthed to the ground in a thump, covered in sap, and bark and red ants. My son stood there, in the dark, cold, wind-swept rain, astonished and he said, da-ad, are you OK? I couldn’t help it, I began to cry. He said something to me and put his hand on my shoulder, and I couldn’t hear him as I looked up her skirt at the knot where I was birthed had disappeared, and I said, not now son, she’s gonna come back to talk to me again. And I cried again. Seeing the repeating, though unable to move, until eventually he went away. Days and nights, months and years have since passed and I still sit at her base, like stone, waiting for her return.

Thug Raid at 4 a.m.

The raid happened swiftly. Under the cover of night where the moans and groans would be a little softer and the insolence suppressed by the tremor of wakefulness. RV’s lined the street sandwiched between an industrial park and rail yard. The police ushered all the campers out of their RV’s, took their names, or whatever form of identification they could get, and politely told the squatters they’d need to find somewhere else to go. A young loner gets escorted while he wails about his plight. The cops turn up some opioids from his den. If they couldn’t move their vehicles the city would have them impounded. By then the grumblings and the protestations of the campers were drowned out by the big rigs hauling in the bollards, tow trucks arriving, and the crew setting up floodlights.

By early morning city sponsored trash bags filled with things, which were already once discarded, then picked up with a hope for some future purpose, fill the empty space behind the concrete bollards. A tent had popped up sometime in the hours between and a social worker would be onsite by mid afternoon. Amidst the emptiness in the air is the sense that perhaps all of this amounts to only the amassing of things. Regardless of social status, the only thing we can all be said to be doing is collecting for some greater future.     

Consumed

 

He was already dead before he was born, came out of the womb like   void                     and now he’s the nightmare that lives down your street. Dwelling in desolation and isolation, he just wants to live in your house, live in your skin, take it all in. He’s never really seen but lurks from within. it’s kind of an addiction, if you know what i mean. Sitting on the sidelines, life never really comes for him. Everyday he makes exactly the same. He lives in emptiness outside the sleepy hallows, on the periphery, imperceptible. When the night comes, he swallows his breath and gives in again and again, rolling his eyes in the back of his head, devil’s cock in his hand, wanting only to consume, to be consumed.