Thursday, March 18, 2010

wml redo

it was the mustache that sent me packing. while others in my age rage could only grow a small clipped banker style mustache i had the ability to grow the behemoth. it was raven in color and came past the edge of my nose. it was full and fluffy like the pillow in hookers bed. magnificent and well worth the price of admission, this mustache, was also my downfall.
it should be noted that, i am, a wolfman. i am a werewolf descended from a long line of werewolves. while most, now a days, are converted from the werewolf bite i was born to a fine pair of monsters in the late seventies. i was born to cynthia and hamsun strasse at st. luke hospital in boise idaho during the early hours of the first day of march. this was not a full moon.
not only was i descended from a long line of werewolves but also from a great tradition of mustachios. it was great great grandfather, walter strasse, who invented the ax handle mustache. he wrote in his diary on that day, 'dear diary, today has been one of fantastic discovery. while i was out chopping some lumber i happened upon a nest of bees. in previous encounters all would have been lost for, as you know, i am allergic to their sting and especially sensitive about the ends of my lips. as they launched their attacks i figured all to be lost, and what a way to go out! for you see i had developed quite a hideous looking rash on each side of my lips from eating too much raw meat. so, instead of looking like a monster, i had grown facial hair about each side of my mouth. now when i am laid to rest and they open the casket all will recoil in horror at my final state of dishevelment.
'just as i had begun to fear the final moments and hear the mighty roar of the bee army a most magnificent thing happened. it seems that the side growth on my mustache repelled their attacks. not just defending me from their terrible sting but almost cutting down their soliders like an ax to a tree. you see that while they strike against the face their stingers get lost in the hair, get tangled and removed leaving them buzzing away stingerless and dying.
'with this discovery i am, soon standing with confidence against their weaponry. i laugh in their tiny bug faces demanding to know if this is their best. if they have must continue their attacks them let them fail, let them die for their is no way to survive my ax handle mustache.'
with this entry, the strasse, went from a rather private quiet multimillion dollar family to boise's cultural champions and the first name of idaho's mustache society. it was this event that started the slow ball of fate to roll. it was this desire to foster the mustache, to study and perfect it, that has left me laying in the woods bleeding shot down by charlie simmons.
we will come to that in good time.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

3/17 the wolf man lament

it was a silver bullet through the night. that son of a bitch used a silencer, i should have known, when i heard the twig break, that rotten bastard charles j simmons was behind all this. that fat grey haired mess of a man. that sore loser. i should have known. as i lay here bleeding out, feeling my life sliding away my mind drifts back to the beginning.

my father was a whiskey drunk and my mother a wolf woman desperate for a baby. it was boise idaho during the go go seventies. it was boise during the window boom and, my father, was rolling in dough. he owned a seasonal weather window company. these were wood framed double paned windows of the highest class.
my father had a name, jack, and a physical beauty that could stop a woman in mid step. there were pleas from the crowd to run for office. there were many advances from woman, married or otherwise, on the job sites. some he accepted some were denied. my father was pro mustache and anti bell bottom. he would wear carpenter pants a many pocketed field shirt and a neckercheif. jack kept his hair well groomed, he was a tall athletic fellow with a wry sense of humor. he was a man who could stand out in anytime and the only thing that anchored him to this time, the seventies, was the side burns and car model.
juliette, was my mother. she was a wolf woman during the full moon and a model the rest of the time. she was tall and lean with chestnut hair. she would try to stick to a vegetarian diet but during the full moon found herself chewing whatever meat she could find. it was because of this that she stopped owning cats and leaving near farms.
my mother was beautiful. it was her beauty that kept the men at bay. no one dared ask her to the dance floor or out for a nice dinner because they were certain she was attached or just out of their league.
jack bumped into juliette during a st patricks celebration. he had ordered two irish car bombs, one for himself and the other for himself, and while backing away from the bar they met. they collided, is more accurate, causing the drinks in his right hand to slosh and almost spill.
there eyes met, there was a spark and from there they moved as if by providence.
'for you,' he shouted.
'to ireland,' she shouted.
'cheers,' they said and drank.

Monday, March 15, 2010

3/15 intermission

the shepherd left the gate
gone savage
my sheep self
to the wolf grass
and temptations

gone to
stomach growls
to booze
a calling
to the whistle of
the all american
ruby red lips
that catch a heart afire

who to blame
who to blame
who to blame

out here baahing
sticking my nose where
it ought not to be

a preist can't have it
you know
cat call from the stage
'be good or be damned'
without responsibility

blame the sheep
or blame the shepherd
or leave it for
the judge
at the throne of heaven

i can't keep track of it all
my mind a mess
i push rocks
i push mail
i stare at things that
need to be fixed

if you don't want
you wont be
ashamed at what
you don't got

blame the shepherd
for rushing home
to his wife
and children

blame the sheep
for eyeing
the horizon
and thinking
what i want has got to be over

christ is coming
christ is here
chirst is looking for answers
any or all of the above

it is never any good
one must conclude
to take your eyes off
the floor
and wonder about more
than gnawing grass


i have no reason
to write on this thing
my ear hurts
it is five thirty
and my teeth are
going bad.
no one told me how
poems go
why they rhyme
i don't stare at anything
but sometimes happy
children dance or laugh
in the recess of my mind
i can smell
on the breeze
i use to think i should
be a divorce lawyer
to the stars
i wish i could work
at a cubicle
and have no compulsion
to tug on strings
or imagine things
i watch my son
i watch my daughter
i watch my wife
good people
hope something is got
to pay off

should be more honest
pray for
fallen leaves
and the evicted
milk men
things change
even us christians
acknowledge that

Friday, March 12, 2010


she sits, she crosses her legs, she sucks her teeth and twists her hair. if she had gum she would pop it. her leg bounces on her knee. nervous. she hasn't brushed her teeth, this morning. she hasn't used the bathroom this morning. she just sits and waits for the other one to talk.
the other woman, the wife, is slumped in the tan rocking chair. her eyes are open but she is gone staring out through the window, down the road and over the horizon line.
she wants to be polite but sometimes you just have to pee. she HAS to pee. she stands up her clothes are young, short and tight. she has a sweatshirt that she doesn't want to wear but feels the need to put on. she wants to be polite, make a good impression if that makes sense. she was a good student. she made it to the city college and has begun to study business.
the other woman does not stir as she passes by her. as her body rubs against the wall with all the family photos. it is quiet, save for the ticking of the grandfather clock. she had no where to go or she wouldn't be here. it is too late in the semester to get a dorm, besides there is no way her parents would pay for it now.
the porcelain is cold to her flesh. she has a job that barely covers her costs from home.
'now what?' she thinks.
this is a large house. she could live here, if they would let her.
'how they gonna let you live here? c'mon,' she thinks.
these are desperate times. her friends may let her crash for a few days, but couch hoping is no way to get through a pregnancy. there is no telling how long her dad will punish her. he was mad. m a d mad. she has images of his slumped to the couch crying. she has images of him banging the table. she has images of him throwing her clothes onto the ground. he did not care enough to pack them. it was her mother who came ten minutes later, it was her mother who suggested bringing the test strip and showing 'the father of this child what he has done,' and it was her mother who watched her eat one last sandwich while tussling her hair.
at first she left. after that sandwich she was gone, clothes left on the porch splayed casualties to the fire fight. later she returned and scene had been scrubbed clean. there was money. there was a note. there was no one around. there was nothing more to do.
the knock surprised her.
'honey, you hungry?' the voice was weak, tired, worn.
'yes, ma'am,' she said.
'listen, i do not know how we are, but we are going to make it through this thing. okay?' came the voice, her voice it cracked but did not break.
'...' she listened.
'we just got one ground rule, one rule between me and you.' she said.
'my husband, is my husband. we are not going to share him. this is my home and my family. now i know what you got growing. i know what you got in your life and i know his responsibility to that. but it was just one night. so before we move on we got to have an understanding that you are no longer interested in him, that you are not going to pursue him, that you are not going to make this mistake anymore,' she said her voice straining.
she is on the other side of the door waiting for her answer, face red, eyes wet, trying to hold back the fury that is boiling inside. trying to hold back tearing the door down and strangling her.
'if she says no, then it's over,' the wife thinks.
'if she says no then i gather the kids and we go,' the wife thinks.
'if she says no then i get the best lawyer, then i crush all these hopes and futures, then i tear that picture wall down,' she thinks.
'if she says no, what about my kids? you selfish little ____, do you know what you could do to my kids? they are innocent. they don't know better. their father their hero. do you know what you are going to to do to us?' she thinks.
'alright...' comes the voice.
there is a pause, but before the wife can push away from the door.
'i'm sorry. it won't happen again,' she says.
there is a silence.
'honey, you want a towel, you want your bag so you can shower?' the wife says.
'yes ma'am.'
the door opens. as the bag exchanges hands their fingers touch. there is a pain to it. their eyes meet there is a sadness there.
broken things can heal. just got to take some time.
'kids are going to be home soon. i got to make breakfast. it will be alright. if i don't break down and kill you. or kill him. ha, don't worry....hard, but alright,' the wife says and retreats to the kitchen.
the young girl turns on the water. she cries. the warm water feels good to her skin. with one hand she holds herself up while the other absentmindedly rubs her stomach.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


cold. the dew stains through her shirt causing the fabric to cling to skin. cold causing the hair on her harms to stand up. cold. she is feeling the rocks through the grass now. slowly her eyes fluter open. she wonders for a moment if it had been a dream. she wonders for a moment how she ended up out here instead of in their bed.
she is connected to something. there are heavy arms wrapped about her waist. she is pulled or cuddled close for warmth. he is wheezing, moaning and the dried blood about his face causes his nose to whistle. she pulls herself free. she stands. they are not far, few football fields away. she can see the top of the roof, she can see the chimney.
'let's go,' she says.
he opens his eyes and is startled. he tries to stand but loses balance.
'____", she thinks.
she will hold him. she will carry him. she decides.
he keeps his eyes closed.
all hard breath and sweat. all tight muscles clenched beneath the damp cloth.
'_____ together,' she says.
there is the sound of dogs barking. there are no cars. she has no watch to put the time. the only noise that is close to them is the sound of feet. two feet walking. one foot stepping and one foot dragging. beyond that, their breath then we must go further out to find more noise.
'why now?' she thought.
'why me?' she thought.
there were moments were she could have let him down. she could have dropped him into the ditch beside the road they were walking.
'it is not like i never had my opportunities,' she mutters her brown hair clinging to her sweaty brow. her clothes clinging to her skin. she is a mother, things will always be clinging to her, always leaning on her, always depending on her kindness for survival.
'there was ___, i should say, there is ___. he has been after me for awhile. maybe i should just do it. i mean what is this marriage now?' she says through clench teeth.
the moon does not rise or fall but loses it's importance as the star begins to appear. she begins to see the black of night lighten, the first hint of day erupting for the eastern soil.
'he is always at the coffee pot when i am there. he is always at the same lunch table or near the same tree. he keeps coming at me. what is that? i use to think the devil. i use to think this is the test, the temptation of a marriage. i shouldn't say use to. this is how i think. but now what? maybe he is a good man. maybe this is a life line to set me free. from this, from you. maybe. though you were a good man, well you are a good man. everyone has doubts. everyone has moments that test or push our character to it's limit. some fail. some fail but that, what does that mean? we've been in love, we've been sweet hearts, and we've trusted for so long. is it one mistake? is it an eye for an eye? is it the universe moving us apart so that i can actually find my true partner? what about the kids? we can't napalm their life. this life. this life is about their life now, as much as my freedom and joy.'
she can see the top floor. she can see the rocket curtains that decorate her children's room.
'everything is set in motion. everything is set up for this, for us. now what?' she bites her lip. his eyes are still closed, he is wheezing. he is leaning. he is drag footing but still she does not let go.
'it's about trust. it's about knowing i can whisper secrets to you and they won't get repeated. it's about mutual sacrifice. it's about sitting there on dead head nights and giggling over the television cuddled up. now what? i don't want our children to get sick, to put our heads together for a solution and think the idea you are giving me aren't just yours but yours and this new voice.'
the first floor is starting to rise from the bend on the road. she can see the windows all dark, save a corner, the living room where the television is on.
'i don't want to look like a fool. i don't want to say x and y are our family beliefs. i don't want to say to people i know, i work with, inlaws, anyone that our family is x and y that is who we represent. i don't want to trust that to you and find out it was a lie. find out you are running around town like a rogue with a whisper campaign that describes yourself as an independent agent. i have to trust you're a part of this thing. you're the husband and father that we are described as. trusted as...____ it's now that i am the fool. now i am some wounded sick thing. now i must be attended to. even if i move on. even if i go with ___ or never choose another man. people are going to walk on eggshells around me. some fragile thing that has been dealt a blow.'
they are on the porch.
'so with all things being equal. before all this i would not choose another man. before all this you were my soul mate. my one true love, father to my children hearer of my secrets and catcher of my tears. with this, i don't know. but the fact that i don't know means there is a chance, the fact that i don't know means you are still close enough to be considered. for my children. for that one chance. for that closeness, for that history i have to stay.'
she opens the door. there is a rush of heat. it feels good to be home. she sees her curled like a child on the coach, television light dancing over her eyelids, blanket pulled tight to her chin. she almost drops him. she almost vomits. steadies herself and helps him upstairs. she puts him in bed. she kisses his forehead.
there is a violent anger that swells but she white knuckles the door frame. but she takes a deep breath. it is not gone it is caged. she heads downstairs she has breakfast to make her kids will be home soon.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


saturday. he has a hard time seeing. he can't remember how he got back to his room, their room pictures of a family line the wall. pictures of a couple on the night stand. the night stand dark wood that he put together while she rubbed her pregnant belly so long ago. he moves through the sheets and everything hurts. he is alone.
there is the noise of voices. there is the sound of pans and dishes rattling. there is the stomp of feet. as the sun creeps through the blinds, as he tries to sit up but gets dizzy and has to lay down again he would like to think it was a nightmare but the pain tells him different. he fades out.
he wakes up to the sound of a car. he wakes to the sound of children laughing and running inside. he can trace their path as they move from the porch to the front room. as they move and call out to their mother. as they are greeted as they are held and whispered what happened. or a story of what could happen.
he has one eye swollen.
'____ so ____ stupid,' he says thinking about what he lost as he traces their wedding picture with a bent finger.
'dad,' they call. they move quick, they jump to the bed they hug him and he groans.
'careful,' he can hear a voice say.
there is a movement in his body towards vomit. the pain causes his vision to go white. he wants to hold them, to kiss them. he wants to feel the power of youth in his children. he wants to be loved and express love. 'careful,' comes the voice as he curls and moans.
they retreat.
there is the sound of the door closing. he looks, but is too late. there is only the folded upon itself white robe. the one with his name that she wears. it was a wedding gift. there is only the copper door knob that he fixed when they moved in. he can remember kneeling before it screwdriver in hand.
'what's next?' he thought as he unscrewed the knob. as he held the piece in his hand staring into the hole looking for what could be a problem.
she was there, at the edge of the bed, long auburn hair then. she was there indian style on the bed watching with baited breath. she was full of victory kisses. she was full of victory hugs. she was full of love to dispense on him, just waiting for him to give her a chance.
'what is going on?' he wonders the drifts to black.
he wakes up to the sound of laughter. he wakes up to find a dish with a sandwich and water on the night stand. he wakes up and has to use the toilet. it is slow but he moves. it is tear inducinng painful but he stands. he holds the wall like a drunk and teeters sliding across the floor. he braces himself for a few steps. he moves forward gaining balance. going from touching the wall to standing on his own. he sucks his teeth and groans but makes it across the floor to the tiled bathroom.
he does not want to see the mirror so looks straight ahead. he wants to focus on the grey wall. he wants to focus on the deep brown shower curtain. he wants to turn his attention to the tissue box atop the toilet. he is successful but for a split instant, out of the corner of his eye when he can see the purple, the red, the black and the blue. it is glimpse, it is swollen it runs down his face spilling across his chest across his arms down to his legs.
he holds himself as he urinates. he sighs. tears come and he has to use his free hand to prop himself up. he palms the wall openly weeping.
there is the noise of family down stairs and as the day fades towards the night he wobbles back to the bed. as the day fades to night and he can hear the clink of dinnerware he chews a bit of the turkey sandwich, drinks a bit of from the water glass sucks the snot through his nose and rubs his tearing eyes.
as the day fades to the night he leans back. he groans. he listens for a hint at what has become. he listens for anger or violence. children are laughing the television flicks on and as he fades he wonders what he has done.
he wonders what is to come.
somebody laughs. he is back to sleep.

Monday, March 8, 2010


it's the crunch of feet on grass. it's the crunch of face on grass. he don't talk out of the car. he don't say nothing but make low guttural noises. he sound like an animal on the attack. a wild thing crushing this man to the ground.
stomp stomp stomp goes his foot to the man's face.
his wife, the walker, the one in anger, the one with sick built up in her stomach. his wife the offended party. she sobs and screams for his safety. she wails into the night air. she jumps the jumper landing on his back. this under the starry wide open night. there is the orchestra of bugs and other domestic creatures cooing, crying and trying to find romance. the moon is full, the moon is casting an unwavering eye upon them recording their deeds for some future playback to some future judge.
he screams under the wailing. he knows it has come home to roost. he thinks of her, he thinks of his wife the witness. he can hear her screaming as she is thrown from him. he can hear her scream as the other woman attacks. he can hear a small child crying. he can hear 'go back to the car,' being shouted. mostly he can feel the attack.
'i didn't know,' she says uncontrollably sobbing.
'daughter,' the other woman cries and slaps and pushes.
'i thought he was a good man,' she says and falls to her knees.
i...he was a good man,' she says.
'good man,' she says.
the other collapses next to her. the are mixing in tears as grass stains clothes. rolling sobbing and holding one another.
'she's a good girl.' she says.
'my girl,' she says.
'no!' comes the verdict from the man. he is heaving, he is full of sweat causing dirty blonde hair to stick to his forehead. his glasses are askew and his shirt has come un-tucked exposing a plump purpling middle age belly. he is holding down the guilty. he is staring at the women, there is snot and spit dripping from his face. gape mouthed gasping for breath. the other man barely registering, barely conscious.
there is silence now, save for the heaving, moaning and crying of a child.
'you want her, you want to act like the man to my child? you want to get her drunk? you want to rape her? you want to get her pregnant? you want those things or take the risk for those things? then you get her, she's yours and if you do not keep her, if you do not help her through this life i will press charges. i will make it ugly and take your job. i will come back with a gun and shoot you dead right in front of your wife and children.'
he takes a moment, he stares them all until they blink. he points to the wife and then to the man. the man in a heap on the ground.
'that was my daughter, she was a good girl,' he says, 'i am not right, i will never be again.' he says, 'i don't talk to threat, or talk to hear my tongue flop. what i say is a promise. jail or the threat don't mean ____ to me.' he says.
the wife of this man starts to cry.
'honey, listen now, this ain't good bye. you see you got our daughter, you took her like a thief. you didn't ask permission. you did not come to me and say, 'larry i am in love with your little girl and would appreciate your permission to date her,' you did not say those things. you just snuck in like a fox in a hen house. it's going to take time. you got our daughter. you got our first grandchild. you two, you two are going to have to work to get back into our good graces. you two are going to have to work to help us get over this. to get to the thanksgiving table. to get to the delivery room. my wife there she wants a grandchild real bad. she wants to spoil that thing. i can't lie, i do too, i do too.'
they are watching him. the wife clasps her hands together at her chest when the grand child is mentioned. she lets her tears fall and can't keep a smile from her face.
'we are not happy how this happened. but if you are a man, if you can take on your responsibilities then maybe we can heal. that's what families do, right, we heal and get tighter, tougher from our scabs and the scars they leave.'
the man rises. he takes his wife's hand and pulls her up. 'good night,' she says. they move towards the car. he places her in the back and she holds the crying child. she moves her mouth towards his cheek and ear comforting him with kisses and words. the man pops the trunk so the lid blocks the window view. he reaches in and takes out a long black double barrel shotgun. 'this is what i'll use,' he says, 'good night.'
he places the gun into the trunk, closes the lid. the car makes a squeak from the shock as he sits into the front seat. as suddenly as they arrived they had gone.
the wife in a bath of moonlight and red brake light makes her way to her husband. he is curled, broken and moaning. she moves towards his cheek and ear comforting him with kisses and words. they lay, they fall to sleep comforted by the orchestra of wild things, some songs of joy and others songs for the dead and loved ones that left home never to return.
surely there are bug wives widowed from war. widowed from the unforseen torture of the magnifying glass, eagle beak or inadvertent shoe fall.
surely there are bug wives who cursed their husbands for their failures. surely they can watch this and understand, sympathize and maybe bend a note their way. surely seeing her holding him until they sleep her hand brown red from dried blood her face tear tracked and her body curled against him until they look like a crescent moon reflected on a rippled pond, they could understand. right?

Friday, March 5, 2010


she rattles doors, she rattles pans as night is cast across the floor through the windows filling the spaces consuming the light. alone to the kitchen. alone to the fridge it's bulb cutting through laying an equal lateral triangle of yellow. pulling the cover exposing feet, eyes and floor. she moves in. face first lifting foil, rattling ketchup, knocking milk bottles searching like a child for her mother's left over.
she looks, she walks, he follows all three hunting down a piece to fill this new gaping need. what to do? what to do? what to do? they could think.
she is the lead dog. she is the front man. she is far enough to feel independent yet still hear his foot fall on gravel track.
'where we going?' she thinks.
'all this, all this is got to go?' she thinks.
'if your good, a good man can you make mistakes?' she thinks.
'we are in love, we are in marriage, we are in parents. can we survive?' she thinks.
'why do i got to leave?' she thinks.
he is not trying to catch her. as the night falls he keeps his distance. he does not pick up the pace. he does not try to calm her down. he does not try to think of the where the finish line lay.
'why?' he thinks.
'i got all this. i got all this...' he thinks but pushes it away.
they are closer. there minds move in union from years of marriage. if it was allowed he could think of hope. if it was allowed he could think of her and how she will stop and hold him. if it were acceptable he would hold her he would kiss her and he would cut his vein to bleed out the poison of this act. for now he will follow hold his breath and wait for whats to come.
'a pbj it is.' she says to the air. she is still a child. the weight is not on her. there is a lump to be feed in her stomach. there is a lump to be rubbed and sung to. she has been orphaned by her actions. good girls are not allowed mistakes.
her father was a salesman. is a pusher of cars. her mother makes knick knacks to be placed on the kitchen tables. they like the news. they like gin rummy. they like to whisper in the dark about the problems or gossip of others. they were not happy to hear the whispers return about them.
she has a young brother who will cry for a while. they were good friends. he would bring homework in, mostly math, that they would sit and chew pens while completing and then they would talk about a future to come. he is young, he is innocent, he is to fresh to know that he shouldn't share everything with everyone. so he told his father and his mother as if they had known. so he had watched as they roared and tore at their breasts. so he watched as they shuffled through garbage and drawers. so he watched as they packed her clothes into a duffel bag. so he watched as they placed a small plastic stick in the pocket lay open from lack of a zipper. so he watched as they put it on the front porch with a small white envelope containing twelve hundred dollars and a folded yellow note. so he followed as they packed him and drove him away.
'pbj it is,' she says. she moves through the dark to the couch. she will curl her legs up and place the plate on her knee. she will hold the sandwich with one hand, with the other she will manipulate the control until it lands on some reality show about people trying to room together, trying to stay drunk all the time and trying not to murder each other or step on the other's fabulousness. the glow of the television will highlight her smile.
she has stopped. there is a cross roads. she has stopped her head tilted towards the moon, her chest heaves , she screams and falls to her knees. she pounds the dirt. he is beside her. he is stroking her hair, she does not stop him. she does not curse him. their forms are alighted by moonbeams. far away with a telescope we can see her mouth moving. we can see her mouth move and form the words, '____ ______ together.'
he is nodding shaking the tears from his cheek.a car unwittingly passes by, save for the little boy whose face is pressed against the window. inside the car the boy knocks. inside the car the sound catches the drivers attention. the driver looks into the rear view. in the rear view he sees a man that looks familiar. suddenly the couple on the road is bathed in the red light of brakes. suddenly a driver pounds the steering wheel. the moon light that covers them is more yellow when compared the to the white of this new man's rage.
an we all think of whats to come.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


it's quiet while she's down. passed out, placed on coach.
'while i'm sick, i'm no monster,' said the wife.
they are at the kitchen table. they are waiting for a relative to come. they will meet them at the top stair and watch the children go. the adults will know, but act joyous. laugh, smile, ask of the day, the relative, the brother in law will want to strangle him. the brother in law, blonde, six feet eight inches coiled and ready to attack. he will look for a sign in her eyes. he will look and see nothing feeling a break in his heart. when he gets home, when the children are consumed with dinner or playtime with their cousins, he will sneak away and finds things to squeeze, to hit and to break.
they will sit on the porch rail after the waving is done. they will sit until the car is gone past the horizon lines and she will strike. she will slap the face. she will slap the face. she will punch the chest. she will not scream, she does not want to wake her. she will curse and spit. she will slap the face. finally, with tear and heavy breath she will want to know all.
he has been quiet. he has been wiping tears. he has been filled with the wrecking ball watching it flash and destroy everything inside him. he will imagine the emptiness of the one room apartment that she will cast him to. he will be alone, trapped by mistake to a life aborted.
'i don't want to tell,' he will whisper.
'____ you.' she will say.
there is silence as she paces, as she pauses, as she cries thumps her breast and attacks. the absorbing machine, he will take it all. he does not want to talk, to reveal, to remember and to support that it happened.
he does not want to give word, breath and life to that night. he wants to forget. she is laying on the coach. she is so young. she has pulled a pillow to her chest. she has on track pants and a highschool sweatshirt. she has on all white sneakers. she has on little make up so you can see her age plain.
he does not want to give this life.
his wife is holding her chin. she is pale and looking down. he follows her gaze. it is a duffel bag. it is a green duffel bag. it has the logo of the school with a picture of the mascot. there is a side pocket. there is no zipper on the side. no security and no protection, so that the pocket lay loose open like a drunks mouth. hanging from those lips is a thin plastic white stick. from here it is obvious. from here he can see and lose his breath. from here he watches his wife tilt her head towards the roof, tear stained cheeks mouth agape calling for voice but hearing nothing.
two purple lines. pregnant.
there is an earthquake inside buildings shaken windows blown power lines going down. his wife begins down the stairs, begins walking down the street leading north. he begins walking down the stairs, down the street heading north. he is behind her, he will not catch up, will not know how long they are going to go. it is sunset.
when they are out of sight, she stirs, she awakens. once again she finds herself alone.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


is a plain. is the dirt road cut through cow pasture. cut through knee high grass. cut through the cow farm, the bad lands, the home of the long horizon lines. is a white house, farm house, long empty porch save for rocking chair, save for wind chime, save for young girl in brown dress, drab dress humble to her body.
sun is going. the shadows long some stretch skinny some grow rich and fat fill the place as she stand there, as she knock there. she got long hair, raven black unmoved by springtime breeze. she got chestnut eyes wide like a horse. she got thin long arms, sweet milk white skin and a plump stomach. she got a baby in there. she got a child on the way. she got her nostrils open waiting for the door to open waiting to make her demands.
there is a kitchen table with fruit in the middle. there is a home kept by a woman. there are some toys and other play things there. children's fingerprints are all over the place. there is a television that could be on at any moment.
a family home.
is the family home, she wonders aloud. she will rub her stomach. she will inhale deep deep DEEP. she will make her way across the porch and peekaboo the inside. there is darkness. there is one car, a sedan. it could be wife, but you never know. she could be napping, what to say what would you say to her to that about this.
not my fault, thinks the girl.
she is young. she is 19 at the most. she was cheer leader. she was top of the pyramid at the football games. he was not a football player now, but was a star so many years ago. he was fit, young and excited in his youth. he is middle aged now. he is lost to the savages of monotony. he takes to wearing button downs. he takes to wearing slacks over blue jeans. he keeps his shirt top one button undone. he watches things with hungry desperate eyes. he has brown hair that rarely gets combed. he loves his wife.
he never meant for this to happen. he did say.
he loves his wife and family. he did say.
he just got to damn drunk and what is the problem with him anyway. he did say.
a good man. is the town's opinion.
he is a teacher of english. he carries a leather saddlebag. he talks fast and get's excited about the ideas of stories. there are so many angles and opinions. so many inlets and roads out of him that he is a multifaceted man.
should not have done that. he would think to himself.
life was slow, you just get desperate for action, for change. he would think to himself.
she is young. she will move on. she will find her forever love and everything will be fine, stay quiet life can go on. he would think to himself.
she can hear footsteps now. the are coming behind her. there is a a cacophony of family sound coming behind her. she gets cold, she sweats and grips her duffle bag. she does not want to turn. she does not want to turn. she DOES NOT want to turn. but there is the word.
hello goes the wife.
the family stops, the family stands at the bottom of the stairs. the older woman sees. she sees the lump, the bump, the flush the tears. she knows. as pieces of her infrastructure begin to collapse. as power lines begin to snap she knows.
the quiet shower. she thinks
the distance. she thinks.
the nights where he stood quiet watching the moon hang. she thinks.
her free hand will go to her children. he is behind her. she can hear his breath stop. she can her his feet shuffle with shame. she grips her children close. too much to bear.
hello. goes the girl and she breaks. there are tears. there is no one there to catch her as the knees buckle. she goes to knee then instincts brace her body slowly lowering to her back to protect the precious cargo. she will lay staring at the white of the porch over hang. she will lay as they are still. she will lay thinking what have i done here? she will lay and let the shadows over take her. she will lay fade to black unknowing whats to come.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

the losing 8

we don't talk in the car on the way to the meeting. we hadn't talked since i returned home from work. she wanted to know about a stain on my chest pocket. she wanted to know how, 'if you sat in the car for lunch you couldn't hear the phone?' she has lots of questions.
i am angry but i did not refuse to go. i am angry and in the past i would have gone to the phone and canceled the baby sitter. i am angry that she has questions, that she wants to know as if i am untrustworthy. there is a clock on the wall, we have thirty minutes before we have to leave. i go silent, i shake my head from side to side. she is wearing her purple blouse and dark denim pants, each clinging to her, accenting the body. she is young, thin and at the moment receiving the silent treatment.
she appears at the shower curtain trying to make peace. she says that she get's worried. she says that 'i really look forward to our lunchtime conversations. i am home bound with the kids and so the only contact i get form adults, during the day, comes from that time. i am sorry if you felt like i accused you, but i get worried. please let's just pretend it didn't happen.'
she says all that leaning against the wall. she says all that and still i boil. i am quiet. i breathe 'ok' and begin to towel off. we kiss as i dry. she leans her head against my naked chest. the aroma from her hair fills my nostrils.
still i sand on defense.
the baby sitter arrives. there is silence in the car as we move towards that meeting. there is silence in the night air as we move towards the meeting room. there is a space, however infinitesimal, that has arrived between us. it is cold, the space, cold, lonely and bringing with it the fear of growth.
there are celebrations and conversations, but we are quiet. there are shouts of joy at the scale. there is the lecture about fighting through the wall. there is the conversation of support. there are here deep brown eyes, rubied lips and mountain of a body turning towards us fresh from a five pound loss. i am not sure how to feel.
'no scale tonight, huh?' she says standing between my wife and i.
'nah, just don't feel it this week.'
'well just keep working at it, i guess,' she says and moves with her husband towards the door.
'that was nice,' she says but i understand the true meaning.
i nod. i know she wonders why. she is thinking. i will refuse to show my hand. i will refuse the scale i will refuse the diet i will stare at the new wound, the new space between us. like a sore in ones mouth i will tongue it, put pressure the twinge of pain not welcomed but continually tested for it's presence. she will not go to the scale. we sit together. we stand together. we move towards the car and head home together. in the dark and the silence of the road she will try again.
'that danielle keeps losing, huh?'
she wants me to explode. she wants me to cry foul and a cheat so that she can join the chorus. so that we can come back together. reunite the team over the common enemy and frustrations. the urge is there. the words on the tip of my tongue. how i want to crush that mountain of a woman. how i want to tell of her diet pills and secret eatings. i know she will act offended, she will want to punch her in the face, she will understand my faults and failures but celebrate my strength. i know she will say, 'see how great and strong you are? you won't take a short cut, you will fight for your body and dreams. you are willing to struggle and fail only to get up again and keep trying. i am proud of you, i love you.'
we would talk, cry and eventually make love. i won't give into this now. i am hungry. i am lost being led farther away by hunger pangs. i can hear the search part, i can see the flashlights up ahead, but i am not ready to be found.
so we are silent. so we pay the baby sitter. so we undress and redress. so we lay in the dark as i stare at the ceiling my stomach rumbles and i do not go to the kitchen i do not reach for her hand.

Monday, March 1, 2010

the losing 7

i thought i saw her, danielle, sitting in the far corner with dark glasses on. there was a tray there filled with empty wrappers and her face stained with hot sauce. i am angry. now i have to act like i am ordering to stay on the point scale. now instead of regular soda i have to have diet or better yet water. as she is near the end of her meal i slow down, take my time, read each item and their ingredients hoping she will leave. i hope she will not notice, not say my name, maybe be as ashamed as i am, to be fat, old and trying to sneak a meal past our spouses.
as i am getting past the point of no return, seeing the minutes of my lunch hour slip away, i take a deep breath and step forward. the lady at the register is ready. her face open, bright, young and eager to satisfy. she will be a manager one day.
'yes i would like a taco salad, no cheese and a large water,' my stomach grumbles disapprovingly.
'is that everything?' she says.
'no,' comes the deep full bodied baritone from behind me, 'he would actually like to cancel that and get what he wants.'
danielle is standing there, sauce staining her wide plump lips and large crowded teeth. she has her glasses atop her full rosy cheeked face, her auburn hair hanging limp, wavy as some sort of snake vine. i wonder if it's a trap? as she stands there bits of food still clinging to her dark shirt. i wonder if my wife has put her up to this.
'our secret,' she says.
'so is that everything, sir?' goes the employee.
i make a decision, 'actually i will have a large soda, two burrito's and a quesadilla.'
she waits, we sit together.
'friend or foe?' i ask before settling into my meal.
'how dare you,' she says and pulls a candy bar from her bag.
'now, that son of a bitch is beautiful,' i say and begin to eat.
she eats, as i do, quickly. we have been trained, by the shaming stares of others, to not savor. we must get in and out. we do not talk until it is over. she puts the candy bar wrapper under the food wrappers and we place the tray in the middle so that, with two sodas, people will think we shared.
'i see you are having the same time i am staying on point,' i say.
'life is to be lived i say.'
'if only.'
'you know i have not been able to stay under or at my points since this damn diet started.'
'but your losing weight,' i say.
'ah, diet pills. i take a few of those suckers and boom success. it's just so i can keep my husband off my back.'
'i hear you,' i say, but secretly burn from her celebrated cheating.
'you should try it.'
i tap my fingers along the table top. lunch time cars have filled the drive through. the place is beginning to fill.
'i'm afraid of my heart exploding,' i say.
'ah, old wives tale.'
she has her glasses back over her eyes. there is something buried under all that flesh that strikes me as sexual, as beautiful as worth wanting. bizarre. there is a part of me that feels like i am cheating, not from the food, but for being here alone with a woman. for being here alone with a woman that is not my wife and sharing a secret. i have a twinge of guilt. it's near the end of the lunch hour, for me. i get up.
'same time tomorrow?' she says.
'we'll see, i guess,' i say.
'hey, don't feel guilty we aren't fooling around. it's just lunch,' she says.
i watch her stained lips move to form words, i watch them as the plump up, purse dance about unsure of their transmissions but sure of their intention.
'yeah, houston's is my tuesday joint. have to cover your tracks, you know.'
'yeah, great place to do it.'
'hope to see you there.'
i nod. we part. in the car my face flushes, my hands strike the wheel and thighs. i am unsure, stomach full, what direction to take but understand nothing good will come of it.
'you haven't cheated,' i say to the mirror.
something has turned, or slipped and this current life, safe place seems in jeopardy. as i turn the car into traffic, turn towards the office i call my wife and think of houston's. i call to her voice and try to imagine her lips dancing, out performing the lips on the mouth of the woman i just left.
it's her voice mail. the road is open and at the stop i can take any direction i want. such are the choices we sometimes face.