Late-Middle Morning BluesLate-middle morning in the city
is always such a drag.
Early-middle morning sure looked pretty,
mid-middle morning wasn't bad;
but it's late-middle morning in the city,
and the rosy mackerel-sky's faded blue;
the concrete in the road, rough and gritty,
everything steeped in that hue;
Late-middle morning, oh what a blight:
nothing here to kill the time.
Empty-faced people in colorless light.
We'll sit here and wait 'til we die.
Late-middle morning, never settles well
in the belly or throat of the man
who passes a blessing, waves a farewell
before his flight can yet land.
you just don't belong.
With the morn' to your dusk
and the noon on your dawn.
Late-middle morning, always full
and bursting at the seams
with the traffic poised to push and pull,
drivers blowing steam.
But late-middle morning, no real rush;
just the people left behind,
beneath the blinking traffic blush
that marks the city's spine.
Late-middle morning, find me bleary,
achy, down, and glum.
The Sixth LessonThe Sixth Lesson is Damnation
He speaks horrors and tragedies like a vulture
spilling carrion from the corners of its beak
here is blood and here is flesh
and hear these words, my friend;
these sacraments I found in the desert over Israel,
these sins, here, taken from the arms on Corcovado;
where the shadows of the race beat like maggots in their hollow;
where the mighty plunge their sword into the sky, bellow
"Take me with you! Take me with you!;"
Eager eyes, but nothing more;
the proud have nothing left to give but that skeleton,
oh, that lonesome, brave old skeleton,
he sweeps them up and kisses their filthy, sinful cheeks;
for what? You don't deserve this;
neither did He.
for who? There is no gatekeeper, these days,
and the mote is filled with festered things,
putrid things, your kind would dare to cross,
though; your kind would pay no heed.
You're filthy. That's the rub, my friend,
the good, old-fashioned truth you're filthy.
And that feeb
Grey MatterThe sky above the desert turns white
and I am blind;
something is whistling at the crest of the wall,
lilting and hard like the voice of the kettle glowing on a flame
and the air is a battery,
a charged pot of steam and copper wires.
the knowledge that she needs me
buries deep into my chest
The soil burns my feet and I am aware
for a moment
that the streets are lined in broken glass
and broken mortars;
the kettle on the wall is screaming,
some siren in the distance wails its woes upon the city;
but she is silent in my arms.
the knowledge that she needs me
pulls the pain from the soles of my feet
Gunfire beats like a pulse between the walls
and the ether is heavy with gunpowder.
A woman on the corner
slouches with her back slick against the stone,
a limp head cradled in limp arms,
grey matter glutting the spaces between her fingers.
The baby in my arms is bleeding.
the knowledge that she needs me
cries out through the sound of the chaos
I move without the notion of movement,
Running on EmptyCharacters
FRANK, a man in his 40s. JEREMY's older brother.
JEREMY, a man in his 30s. Is beginning to lose his memory.
A small table outside a diner. Late at night.
Lights up to reveal the outside of a diner late at night. A streetlamp glows just to the left of the diner, and beside it is a small gray table with three chairs positioned around it. JEREMY sits in one chair, staring down into a mug of coffee. The coffee has gone cold, but he cups his hands around it. He is alone and the scene is very quiet, very still. He is deep in thought when FRANK enters, hurriedly approaching JEREMY, out of breath.
FRANK: Jeremy! (Seizing JEREMY by the upper arms) My God, I was so worried! Alice called and told me you just up 'n bolted a few hours ago, that she just woke up and you were gone!
JEREMY: You found me.
FRANK: Saw your truck out by the street. Almost shot right by it, I would've just kept goin' but I saw the blue truck in the rearview mirror 'n I thought to check-
In the Face of the DarkI saw a white light
flowing over the dunes
Saw the glow of the desert
beneath a great plume;
I dreamed it had perished;
the world was made dim
with the pulsing of loss,
like a great phantom limb,
where Israel stood;
and the city of gold,
made black with a soot that hung,
dark and cold,
like a shroud on the Temple,
a sheet come unfurled.
And the grief was a rain
that had covered the world.
But where many men stood
and mourned for the dead,
not a man could bear rifle
in the battle ahead;
for the nations were quiet,
the Evil had spread.
And the world and its people
were silently bled.
And I watched, from a distance,
as leaders all turned
with their backs to the darkness,
which brazened and burned
until nothing was left but the soot
in the ground
and the glimmer of gold
in the pit of the mound
where one Evil came forward;
another came back
and the people where felled by a single attack.
Quiet ThingsAnd slow things, like molasses,
like pretty golden honey
or crystal corn syrup;
catch the sunlight
make it sweet.
Too quiet in here but I can dig it,
Too slow but I can dig it.
I can dig it,
And there's rain on the rooftop, now
but it's an easy kind of quiet.
Not a noise,
not a clatter,
nothing'd make you
or turn in your sleep.
Just an easy kind of quiet.
Catching dew drops on the swift
make 'em slow
soft like little jewels of rain.
Some caught with flakes of ashes
but we don't mind the ashes
don't mind the flaws
'cause we're catching dew drops on the swift.
Keep your voice down.
There's sleep in the eaves of the barns now,
barns in the joints of the hills,
hills making mounds of the cornfields
where the stalks sit still and lazy
makin' shade from fronds
for field mice.
Keep your voice down,
there's sleep in the cornfields, now.
Lake WaughopDucks cozying up along the shore shrugged thick beads of water from their down. They crowded in amongst each other, bleary eyed and slow, regarded the lake with a dazed sort of boredom; too early to search for worms and ailing fish in the algae, too late in the morning to take refuge in the brush, and far too chilly for sporting any sort of enthusiasm. They dragged their feet through the soil. They edged closer to the shore, testing the water. Some, surely young or new to the game, hopped eagerly out and floated along with the geese.
None were bold enough to breach the net of lilting Lilly pads, and there the loons had full domain they darted back and forth from the shore catching flies in their stout, sharp beaks, eyes blazing red and gold, turquoise feet swinging wildly beneath the waves.
The remnants of the morning's mist still rolled along the fringes of the lake like flour powdering the edges on a ball of dough. It left condensation on the leaves in its wake, peppering the
StaticThe first time I heard the song Natural to be Gone by John Hartford, I was watching a storm roll in with my brother on the front porch of a ranch in Montana.
The music drifted from an old radio that the ranchers had sloppily wrapped in cellophane and secured to the fence with a length of wire. Raindrops slithered down its sides, glittering and merging as they fell; Hartford's voice was drowning in the downpour, fuzzy and distant, until the sky flashed blue, the first peal of thunder sounded and the words were broken mid-verse.
I moved down the porch steps, past the lip of the gutter, and peered up, awestruck. Lightning darted between the clouds; it snaked out, threatened to touch the treetops and then rapidly withdrew, left a shadow on the landscape in its path. The ranchers and their horses didn't start, barely seemed to notice in their hurry to bring the supplies in from the storm.
"I've never seen it come down like this," I said to my brother as he joined me at the bottom of