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A breath from the breathing

Memories like bullets they fire at me from a gun

6/23/10 04:23 pm - june 23rd, 2010

I can see the blow coming
But will not yield
I know I can block it
But will not parry
It strikes for my heart
Let it pierce me
I’d rather die feeling
on the battlefield
My captor will flay me
Leaving me raw
But I’ll let her slay me
My love be my armor
Her aim is true
This arrow penetrates
I’ll bear it grinning
Accepting my fate
I could arm myself
With blade to save me
And armor myself
Against all woes
I’d rather know pain
Feel how I’m hurting
Than deaden myself
To my love and her words
Her armorys full
With weapons I’ve crafted
My devotion, my passion
My love everlasting
And this Knight will fall
On this battlefield gasping
For one last kiss
Before the end of it all.

5/4/10 03:50 pm - writing exercises- descriptive vignettes

The night was hot for the beginning of May. He sat outside his apartment, on the ground, the front door open beside him to let in the night air. The breeze smelled sweet, the pollen had settled and air was allowed to just be air again. He took a breath, looking around his shaded complex. It looked like it may have been a motel at one point. The entire building was one face with sixteen doors, its side to the road. It had a facing parking lot and a small laundry room around the backside farthest from the road. Every apartment had the same set up, front door opening onto a living room, a small hallway with a kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom off of it, front to back. The world spilled into his living room, leaves blowing in, and his clutter spilled into the world, a forgotten empty beer bottle lolling outside the doorway. It felt even. He felt even. The day off had been easy, laced with viewings of his favorite DVDs, lunch with a friend, and a trip to a nearby beach. He’d spent it alone, and it made him feel whole.

The tail twitched idly, and he seemed distracted, but I saw his eyes slide to mine when I glanced over. I figured he didn’t care for the music but I didn’t care for his care. I look over again and his eyes are closed and he’s breathing in a jerky sort of way, taking big breaths. He opens his eyes, green slits peering through a furry black mask, and starts to purr as he noticed me looking at him. I reach out from the couch I’m sitting on and touch his tail, which hangs, still twitching, over the end of the day bed. He flicks it out of my reach and tilts his head slightly, a front paw lifting more in question than in threat.

5/1/10 09:09 pm - Scraps

All is quiet, all is calm
All is not, but I’ll press on
All is nothing, as am I
A drunkard’s reflection does not lie

I hear music and I hear naught
But my own breathing, presently (precisely?) caught
And I hear static of loneliness
And the call of my bedding, now undressed

I seek to weather time itself
Though by Cupid’s arrows I’ll be pelted
I’ll test my founding stance ‘gainst love
But by age and season I’ll not be touched

A fool’s errand it may be
The pursuit of love and all its best
For in seeking, one will not be pleased
Unfinding til the search is rested

4/29/10 04:50 pm - untitled as of yet

“Jesus Christ that’s a pretty face. The kind you’d find on someone I could save, if they don’t put me away…” Lyrics, from a band called Brand New. Appropriate now, I think. It’ll be a miracle if I make it home tonight. Isn’t that the thing. You find someone worth sticking around for, and suddenly everyone wants you gone. You find someone worth saving, and then you need it yourself.

We met at a party I tagged along to with a mutual friend. She was standing in a doorway, looking for someone, or something. Her gaze was elsewhere, mine was only on her. She noticed me after awhile and we spoke. I made some jokes, she made a couple of grins, each one driving itself deeper into the chasm where previous broads had strip-mined my heart empty. Her smile took the express elevator straight into the center and set up shop. The way her lips moved was honest, innocent yet wry. Her eyes pierced me and pulled me, blue pools that looked like ice I’d gladly dive into. She was a small girl, coming up to about the bottom of my chin, but I knew she could floor me if she wanted to without raising a fist. Her hair was a silken curtain of brown, and it reached a little past her shoulders, toying with her collarbones. I could see it was soft, almost as soft as her voice. We interacted as the party mingled around us, and I managed to get her number as my friend and I left.

The streets of Tampa have always been kind to me. I’ve been pretty good to them, too, staying off the main roads whenever possible in favor of the sidestreets I love detouring down. Tonight they fight me, and I’m racing the city itself to get this package to the wrong people at the right time. Lexus’ drift aimlessly in front of me, beaten up Hondas race around me, and old, beaten American models hug the curbs and block the road. I’m doing this all for her, to keep her out of their reach, away from their notice. It’s always because of a dame. For once, this one actually seems worth it.

Her name is Cecelia. We’ve gone out a few times, the traditional sort of going out, the kind couples did before Facebook and texting and Mass Communication distilled relationships into random strings of status updates and truncated sentiment. I took her to the movies, we went out to dinner. We defied our generation and our twenty-something age brackets by sharing a meal, not just drinks, and afterward we’d go back to either of our places to talk. She is a self-motivated transplant from the Great White North, upstate NY. I discovered she loved Tampa as much as I do, and she’d come to that love much quicker than I, having only been here a few years. I found myself increasingly wanting her to stick around, something I expressed to her briefly before dropping it for the moment, and since.

She’s out of town this weekend, and I’m glad for her. I don’t know what I would have done if she had been there when the events that prompted this drive went down. There was a party at the house she shared with two other girls. They seem like cool enough people, nice enough, friendly enough to invite me to a party they were having even though Cecelia was going to be out of town. I’d only been around a few times, but figured I’d bring a buddy, maybe he could meet some girls there and I could make sure nobody messed with Cecelia’s bedroom in her absence. This party felt thicker than the one I met Cecelia at. There were more people, some younger, make-up painted to fit in. Easy to spot, they were the over exuberant ones, too excited to know that acting older meant calming down. The front porch offered no respite from the warmth of the house inside. Even the hardwood floors were sweating, breathing in the sweat of bodies and the stench of Weed being smoked and ashed onto them. My friend disappeared into the back of the house and I went looking for him. The front door opened and I slipped back inside. Before me, the path to the back door was long and littered with bodies. I moved true, through the living room and dining room into the packed kitchen, where I was held up by a skinny guy in plaid staring into the fridge. The plaid was red, the sideburns were too, as was his close-cropped hair. I reached in and grabbed a beer. Handing it to him, I shut the door and moved past him. I felt his eyes on my back as I glanced into Cecelia’s bedroom, which was at the end of a small hallway behind the fridge and to the right, off the kitchen. The door was open. I was sure I’d checked that it was locked. I pushed past someone coming out of the bathroom, also off the kitchen, and glanced in the room. One of the roommates, Ashley, was in there, alone, her back to the door.
“What’s going on,” I ask her. She startles, turns to face me. “What’s that?” I point to her right arm, which she has bent behind her back. She withdrew it and smiled, a look I’m sure she believed was sheepish and cute, but only looked untrustworthy.
“I wanted to borrow one of Cecelia’s shirts. Will you tell on me?” She smiled again. I reached out my hand.
“Yeah,” I said. “But I’ll ask her if you can borrow it.” She scowls and tosses the shirt to me, stuffing her hands in her pockets in almost the same motion. She brushed past me without a word. If I’d only seen what else she’d had in her hands.

Almost dawn. Almost there. It’s been a long night. Dale Mabry, the biggest thoroughfare in Tampa, ended a dozen miles back, but I’m still going North, and I’m no longer in Tampa. Land’o’Lakes was a blur of family owned delis, and too-flashy gas station convenience stores and churches, offering Salvation and Coffee, all-new and with better signage. Fill up and Praise the Lord. My destination is Brooksville, small-town America, around 60 miles north of Tampa. Nobody will be awake this early on a Sunday. Nobody will see me drive past their single-city-block downtown. Nobody will see what I’ll be holding in my hands, and what I’ll be passing off before the sun rises.

“Where the fuck is it?” The guy was shouting in her face, and even though I didn’t like her, I spoke up, trying to calm everything down. People were staring, some moving out of the dining room and towards the front door. The cops had come once, leaving quickly after an apology and a promise from one of the roommates, but the tension they left was still palpable.
“What’s going on,” I asked Ashley for the second time that night. She looked at me, blankly, and the guy rounded. It was the guy I’d handed the beer to earlier.
“You,” he said, “Who the fuck are you?”
“A friend. What’s going on?”
“She stole my shit.”
“What shit?” I felt a knot start in my stomach, curling my toes.
“The bag of coke I was supposed to deliver tonight!” He turned to her again. “Where the fuck is it?!?!” The guy was tweaking, he kept licking his cracked lips in between sentences.
“C’mon man, there’s no need-“ I started, but Ashley cut me off.
“It’s in Cecelia’s room!” Both the guy and I stared at her, and the comprehension of why she was in the room hit me like a segway driven by a fat mall cop. He must have noticed my face, because he addressed his next question to me.
“Who the fuck is Cecilia and why does she have it?” He was speaking calmly. I didn’t think it was a good sign. Ashley, however, had regained control of herself with her lie.
“Here.” She started towards the back of the house.
“Ashley..” I started, but she ignored me. The guy glanced at me and followed, as did I. I thought, could I distract him, could I distract her, could I just get a second in that room. I knew where she hid it. She was about to stuff something under the mattress when I walked in on her.

3/26/10 03:39 pm - It's a long day, always ain't that right...

Last night I slept harder than I have in a long time. I remember dreaming. I don't think I've dreamed in awhile. I feel refreshed, a bit. I love having Fridays off, but I always seem to open on Saturday, so I can't really do anything Friday night, which is when all my friends are off because they have day jobs. Maybe I'll go see Hot tub Time machine by myself tomorrow.

I went and saw Remember Me last night. My neighbor wanted to see it, so I went with her. I enjoyed it. Rob Pattinson's mugging was a little annoying at first, but as the movie progressed I either became inured to it, or he started softening the brooding. Maybe a bit of both. I ended up liking the characters, more than I thought I would, mostly due to the way they doted on Rob's character's little sister, who was an adorable little awkward artist/geek child with a capacity for just looking at the camera and breaking the heart of the viewer.

The other night, Wednesday, I went to Red Dog with Dave and Anna and John. It was fifty cent beer night. Dave and I hung out outside, and then John and Anna got there and we took over a pool table for a couple of hours. If you put in five bucks, you get 2 free games. We also took over the jukebox, which was really fun. I put on some Cherry Poppin' Daddies and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Anna and I swing danced in the middle of the bar. We did pretty good. No tables or chairs suffered, and any time one of us lost balance, the other was able to grab them and make it look pretty good, I think. The Bud Light girls were there, running a game of quarters, played with poker chips.. Dave and I teamed up and did pretty well, which earned us some free beers, and a chance to play again on Saturday to win a trip to Vegas.

I've become really interested in novels and stories about War. I'm reading a book I borrowed from my mom called Why Marines Fight. It's a collection of stories collected by the author. He was a Marine, and interviewed many others, from all Campaigns and walks, to tell why they fought. It's fascinating. I'm also re-reading a book called July, July, by Tim O'Brien, who details the Vietnam generation. We read his book, The Things They Carried, which was more specifically about the Vietnam War, in high school and it's always been a book I loved.

2/11/10 10:56 am - Sonnet 116 revisited

Let me not to the kinship of strange minds
Admit impediment, one can still love
Any alteration they may find.
And bend with a new romance to remove
All doubt and kindle up a spark
That displaces distance and anxiety
And answers every wondering look
With assurances and loving entreaties
Not fools for love, though sighs and brushing cheeks
Let on to what feelings may come
Currently supress’d by remember’d grief
Will rise and bear the lovers from their gloom
I see no error in a strangeness proved
Be they two minds alike, love still can bloom

11/20/09 07:11 pm - Story continued 1

I'm Blake, and I don't like writing in third person. I never got used to the idea that a narrator could be in everyone's head at once. Or maybe I'm just no good at it. It makes no sense, really. How real are your characters when you're able to know everything about all of them? Who knows everyone's motivations and hopes? You'll know all about me, but that's it. Sorry.
I'm sitting at this bar, alone, at a table off to the side because I needed to get out of the house. There’s too much distraction there. I know, like a bar isn't distracting, but it really isn't to me. There's nothing to do here, and I don't feel like talking to strangers. Anything I'd want to do here, I'd have to pay for, and the fifty cent beers are costing me enough. I'm waiting for a friend to pick me up. Probably going to crash at her place, on her floor or something, and then she'll take me to get my car in the morning. Yes, my best friend is a girl, Amanda. If I ever get married, she'll be my best..woman? Best maid? Anyway. I can't drive right now, on beer eight, and I've been buying in twos. They are fifty cents, after all, but only for ten more minutes. I should capitalize. Not feeling it anymore, though, the drinking. I’m having trouble getting this drink down. Regret is a bittering agent, flavors everything.

So I’m writing this. A little to you, maybe, but mostly for me. Perhaps I’m fictionalizing a little. The tables are emptying and I’m sitting outside now, on the patio, where we talked for the first time. You said, “So..”
I asked your name. You said Emily. I introduced myself as Blake. We shook hands, looking each other in the eye. Your eyes were wide open, amazingly so, curious and light brown. I think I must have narrowed mine, not wanting to look away from yours but feeling embarrassed for staring. You squinted at me, mocking me, and I thought you looked like you were squeezing out a fart. I laughed. And you laughed. The lilt of your laugh fascinated me. You laughed with your whole face, with your whole body. I’m wishing now I’d caught you on film sometime, that we’d maybe dated during a time when video was common on cell phones. Then I could see you. I’m playing it in my head right now, my stare empty over the black patio tables and chairs. It’s almost as good as video.

11/11/09 02:20 am - Still up

Not sure why. Despite the earlier poem, the night holds nothing for me, yet I cannot sleep just yet. Waiting for some epiphany? Maybe? Blow the heads off more zombies. I'll satisfy myself with that for now

11/10/09 10:59 am - Untitled

I wake to cars and light of morn, alone and sweating, shaking off dreams
That meant I don't know what to me
I move myself into the day, unsure, unsteady, almost dreading leaving this place of peace and comfort
I clung to throughout the night
only because the darkness beckoned and I denied it out of fright
and the light wears me, and I bear it as the burden all creatures do
I'll work until the waning when the shading graces dew
Creatures of this world know better than me
The day lays still and the night roams free


11/8/09 12:56 am - I practiced all my lines through the telephone while you were sleeping

I work  at 7 tomorrow/this morning, but don't feel like sleeping just yet. At my mom's place, drinking some beer. I'll keep this brief because I type loud.

The night is still, here, but I still feel the vibrations and the current of the outside world around this computer station. The couch I have to sleep on that's too small and hangs my feet off and euclid and dale mabry traffic on to destinations yet unreached, and all the roads they're traveling and all of mine unraveling and weaving round bends that i can't see into a future i'm dimly aware of but not sure how to reach.
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