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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Too Happy to Write...

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Preserving Appearances.....

Sheets of plywood lie unused and piled high in the garage just as I had remembered. Nails purchased were now rusted and sprawled out across the aged and pitted concrete floor beneath my feet. An old but sound hammer lay poised but never used. The wood now split, rotten and covered in dust is merely used to support other casual collectibles and junk, so invaluable, that it hardly justifies their continued preservation.

But, all things have value to those who treasure nothing.

Walking around this old garage as a child I felt nothing but neglect. Never once was I content nor happy here in this abandoned refuge. The faded orange paint was just as tired and unwelcoming as I felt the majority of the time living in this place. Afraid of the tattered wooden door that had rotten past the point of providing security, loose wooden strips were all that remained to provide the framework. Holes and decay had rotten its outside surface and it shook like a dried-out corn husk in late December when you attempted to push against it.

The twin garage doors which were supposed to house vehicles never functioned in the nearly two decades of my existence living at that home. Instead of repairing the defunct and decayed pieces, mere cover-up and facade building was in order. Pieces of new wood and brick were simply stacked in front of the decay. Even as a child, I was certain that this was only done to enhance the view from the street. One could surmise quite assuredly, that this was not the only part of this home that was receiving that same unique form of touch-up.

The decay ran deep in this family but there was always something that could cover it up to preserve appearances. After all, no one could know the truth. Not even those who resided here.

If imaginable, the sides and rear of the garage were in far worse shape. The wooden paneling had completely rotted at the ground and access for stray mice and cats were in abundant supply. I will attest that I often wondered with the rampant termite, rodent and weather damage how this building ever maintained structural stability at all. Figuring that the sense of malevolence that permeated from all aspects of this property was probably strong enough to overcome mere physics, I allowed my reckless thoughts to wander elsewhere.

Standing inside the garage, I always felt the same dark, cold presence of evil. Hanging in the corner, I would never forget the dusty plastic hanging bags holding my father's military dress uniforms that remained motionless and untouched for my entire span of memories at that home. The bags, opaque and clouded in debris seemed to shroud another lifetime, perhaps even a lifeless body within their wrappings. I was always too freightened to touch, to even come close. I knew that this was just another aspect of my father's life neglected and abandoned to rot in its own painful suffocating demise.

As I learned later in life, those garment bags would not be the only ones hanged in that place.

I tire of appearances merely to hide the truth......
Facades are those foolish enough to believe people don't really know who they are.....
or that people truly care at all in the first place, not busy enough masquerading in their own performances.


You always had the ability to improve, you choose neglect.

Is it not ironic that those same items once sealed the mortal fate of a lowly carpenter?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Deliver me, deliver my dreams.

Postmarked, I arrived later than expected.
Twenty years, no mailbox, no home.
Memories made with the wrong recipients.
Photos faded in a solvent of deliberation and sadness.
Picture this, picture that --- I remain unexposed.

You were ever present on my skin, tattooed without ink.
No forwarding address, I rested alone.
Sentiments written, I wrote out of coercion.
Without you, nothing was meaningful.
My slate remains blank, ready for the truth.

Arrival, departure.
Change is always present.
Time is unmerciful, but judges not.
We are but slaves to the seconds we have left.
I remain captive to the only love I have ever known.

Risking everything, I stamp my heart.
No return, the mail slot closes.
One last delivery for this lifetime.
Postman, carry me on your wings.
Until a song of joy rolls from my tongue.

Deliver me, deliver my dreams.

Friday, February 8, 2013

All the while, I lay captive.

As I rounded the corner of the stone sidewalk illuminated by the star-lit skies above, the silhouettes of nearby tavern signs appear like ominous crates blocking my path forward. As well worn as this path may be, emotionally, it feels completely out of step with my prior recollection of this travel. I glide sheepishly into the darkness and turn down the alley now littered with stagnant water and refuse attempting to reach her abode before it is too late. I can hear flames from nearby furnaces crackling against the hardened stone walls encasing my narrow passageway, echoing the fires of my intentions now brooding with feverish intensity within my soul. Summoning a sense of renewed ambition, I increase the weight and pace of my steps. Out of the alley, I turn north and instinctively lock in on my destination. Just 10 meters before me, I recognize her home. Captivated by the changes I observe, I settle into a slow reverent stride....observing and processing each second with a calculated accord.

The torch hanging above her wooden door is balancing delicately on its side, out of kilter in its emblazoned sconce. Barely revealing any illumination, it appears as tired and restless as its surroundings. The iron bars shielding her doors and windows are uncommonly in place and secured. It is an usual sight to behold as I have never felt as isolated from her as I do in this moment. As the clouds past over the midnight sky, the moon light dances off the rustic wooden planks comprising the side walls and roof lines of this structure. I stand before the door and hesitate to knock as it has never felt as dark before, and I need to be patient. Patient in this, patient for what I might uncover on the inside of the darkness, what has been kept hidden from the light for decades. I surmise considering the distressed ambiance it is best to remain cautious and diligent with my steps.

Deciding to observe rather than involve, I step onto a stone block and lean into a window trying to catch a glimpse of my love, a notion of understanding without the weight of my arrival for her to bear in these moments that may be too hard to balance. As my eyes adjust to the interior darkness, I detect an outline in the corner of the room. Resting on the ground against the wall staring blindly into the center of the space, I instantly recognize her beautiful face. The only source of light, a candle nearly exhausted with its copious wax overrunning the edges of its silver candlestick base, comes into view on the table immediately to the right of her position.

As I adjust my angle in the window to capture more of the candle's paltry emission, I see a well worn trail of tears carving lines of sadness onto her face, now pooling on the floor below. Smoke arises in the corner of the room from a recent fire that may have just been exhausted before my appearance. However, the flames that were recently present certainly explain the weight of sadness that permeates from this space. I stand in place not knowing what action would be most beneficial at the immediacy of this juncture. I try to capture her glance, but she is indeed wounded and reeling from struggles that play out in her mind.

I step down from the stone block to afford her the respect that she deserves.
I then approach the wooden front door, reach up and adjust the misaligned torch, allowing it to regain its proper illuminating strength.

Absent of any deliberation nor diffidence,
I unsheathe my dagger and delicately scribe 3 letters onto its worn surface.

I    L   Y

I knock once, move my hand across the carved outline of letters and murmured "Always"
I then turn and walk back into the darkness...

Knowing that she knows my heart and will return when she is able, I am content and at peace.

All the while, I lay captive....