Gerald

He had lost an eye. Though, its orb still in its socket had turned a blurry blue, misty, had developed a different kind of sight. It was a pain experienced through years of looking, looking, searching. A pain no one could comprehend. Not even himself.

This pain had the temper of a two-year-old, set off by triggers and misperceptions from a wayward stare to a misconstrued comment. Violence shot out of him, red, hot, stinging. I noticed when in this rage, his long hair, parted in the middle, changed as if it were caught in a hurricane, but in slow motion. After an episode, strands of it would appear jagged, outliers of the smoothness of his mane. I thought the streets had done this to him. I was wrong and I was right.

He was never really made up of the streets. The streets were made up by him. An Old Town that used to be, a November rain, black kids selling stripped-down crack cocaine, a fifth of rut gut, sloppy punk shows no one would remember, dayglo artists nailing canvases onto walls of plywood painted black, goth girls looking at themselves in mirrors, only their hands moving, not their bodies. Everything was never moving.

As I looked at his dead eye, lost in a random fight, I felt his frustration, his fear, his hopelessness. And even though he irritated me to no ends, I saw how vulnerable he was.

We took long walks along the Deschutes where few were allowed to go. He was different there. We talked of steelheads and Chinooks. We visited Chuck and listened to metal so loud, the desert lost its hearing. We picked up arrowheads and threw them back to where we found them, to sage and grass. And along this desert river, that twisted like snakes through dry canyons, both sides of its banks scarred, we hung on to ourselves (though there were reasons to lose our minds) right down to where it met the Columbia.

 

 

(Click on image to enlarge)

Indeterminate

Click on image to enlarge.

More images can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

Fluid

Static binaries numbed inside the liminal

As if sound is a scrape bunched into barren elements

Voiced structures—definitions in sand

Drawn with sticks—hopscotch on a playground

 

To know the tides—their decomposition

To know their fragments—their never-ending versions

Can’t be claimed as one or even one’s own

 

 

(Click on image to enlarge)

Stay Safe

I just wanted to take this little shard of time

To tell you

With compassion

Stay Safe.

You are loved.

 

 

 

 

Texture

We sleep upon the rough carpet

Distracted—insomnia twins

Twirling threads and frays

 

Floorboards still heard

Beneath our pressed ears

Though muffled—small creaks

 

Of planks, bare, exposed in spots

Revealing coats of wax and stain

Covered in fresh oversleep

 

Our hands scuffed, abrasions

Soft—even in calloused stir

Touch, entwined, forever lured

 

Listening Words

 

April’s stillness, ruffled by a hum of

The distant drone of a circular saw

The pressing winds of moving cars

The drift of a child’s laughter

Sound is a field of words

 

Image entitled “Motion”.

 

 

 

 

Silent Friendship

The deer mouse comes out, when the night covers the entire sky.  

Through foliage, appearing in little instants, eyes gleaming black, tail flying behind him.

He’s in the peripheral of your flashlight as his jump crests the undergrowth.

His business, a serious endeavor, risking the watchful eye of owls

And even if he’s a bit paranoid, he’s intent upon finding your trail mix.

You sit silent, while he approaches

Accepting, with cautious boldness, your offer of breakfast cereal for dinner.

Leaves without saying much, a bit disappointed, perhaps

After you’ve packed up and secured all food.

But you know he’s still there as you fall asleep

To the rustle of branches and the sly movement of the wind.

 

 

 

Teeth Of Sea

 

The ways to one another are uneven.

Steps expand, contract, falter, fuse

Feet unsure, like magnets running

Fixed fast to the sprawling spin

Of simple skin and porous bone.

 

We push hands through texture

Cool walls made up of paint layers

The infinite cocoon, reaching

To feel the heated depth of each other

A place we’ve always had in our grasp

 

 

 

 

(Image: “Three Witches”. Click on the image to enlarge!)

 

 

 

Utterance

The road—a language.

The forest—a heart.

Two voices.

Both twist around mountains

Where one can lose oneself

Or be found.

 

 

 

 

 

Linear

The mist stifles all sound, confines sight

Numbs time, suspends the linear

Encloses you in tentative comfort

While scaring you with limitations

 

You find yourself worried about the quiet

Near the shallow ripples of the lake

Where the hills slant their hardest towards the shore

And the moss smells of old summer

 

But time isn’t looking for you

Even though you’re looking for it.

 

 

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