Tuesday, April 15, 2008
(A pair of guys are loading up a car with equipment.)
I remember when there was an interest. That could have been my imagination. I remember potential. Potential is what is hidden, all of what could be. We blow it out early, rushed thoughts, half ideas typed into busted screens. What is the difference between caring and taking care? I am supposed to be learning from all of this. I've written a month so now I am going back. I'm going to write the next month before I post it. Hopefully, I will have new calls on May 1. Hopefully, it will help me wake up.
Monday, April 14, 2008
(A pile of boxes lined up in a stairwell. Bodies in a rush coming down and curving around the boxes. They try not to tip.)
It's just not worth his time. The memorization, the craft, and the rain. Did he think about the energy it would take? They said it would take years off his life. They said we would gather around a hole in the ground, burying a time capsule no one would want to dig up. Morrison is the only body dug up for fame. All of the others were dragged into the moonlight for the sheets wrapped around them. Crown jewels never looked so good on corpses. The creak from the joints isn't comforting. Some days, you've got to get them while they are hot. Wake up.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
(A white lace curtain, sun streaming through it's holes, moves slightly in the breeze. Behind it are the shadows of branches, buds opening on end, moving in the breeze too.)
The spice rack is the most romantic thing in the kitchen. Scent activates memory like no other sense can. Like rain fallen on hot cement, waiting in the grocery store parking lot. Basil--my mother's hands radiating heat, close to my ear, trimming hair. Rosemary--the back of my throat, waiting by the front window for your headlights to slide across making shadows on the wall. Paprika--forgiveness on your lips. Oregano--my grandmothers kitchen, always; we'd sit on the dock and turn bread loafs into balls between finger and thumb for the fish, for the birds, for whatever wild life was hungry. Curry--a sun-soaked India; an elephant-soaked India; an India with Bombay; an India that has never existed. I'll drip the vanilla in the pan and simmer. I'll slice the aloe leaf open, dab my closest pulse points. Wake up.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
(Walking against the current of a parade. Weaving our way through a marching band.)
I swore the moment it ended I would sell my things, buy a flight on into Anchorage. I'd pack some shirts, my jeans and my warmest coat, but leave most of it behind. I'd catch a bus to Seward, find work on some boat in the summers, eighteen hour days. In the winter I'd hole up in a room with a wood burning stove, my desk and my papers next to the shadeless window so I could record the movements.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
(A boat rocks shaking up the view across the water.)
There are just as many taxis as there are gondolas in Venice. Just none as romantic. The floors are metal and you share your view of the fog-filled horizon with old women wrapped in scarves and travellers, bags surrounding them. They get knocked by the waves fighting against the handlers. Their forearms tighten at the strain of the rope that they loop on the dock, wrangling a steer. They take months getting accustomed to the water, the tiny miles of street, knowing all in their skin. The longer stayed the further out they can go and still feel the rhythm in the waves, the pressure against the docks. They make them move in strides. Some mornings I can feel them. Wake up.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
(Someones day planner, a hand holding a pencil drawing in the weather.)
We can watch the seconds clash. We can count them - one-one thousand, or two-mississippi. New Yorkers forgot to care about view. They built in front of the water. They set the bricks and mortar up on a hill and fired up glass to keep out the chill. It takes you half an hour to get to 20 yards of open grass. It's the kind you just know has been combed over by men in wet caps, welcoming in the spring with fertilizer, trying to make us shaking from small town's feel at home. But we never saw land thrown together. We knew it broken up and built from God's hands. We miss the brown tops of grass and sprigs stuck out of cracks in the cement. I spend 10% of my day underground. It takes twice that to shake it off. Wake up.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008. Where does your bite land? Is it laying light on your tongue? Or, do you grind down molars in your sleep? Mine changes everyday. This is your morning wake-up call.
(Computer cord wrapped up on the floor mistakenly splattered in green paint. It is dry but can't be chipped off.)
I emptied my room of everything but my mattress stretched out in the center and computer keeping the place from getting quiet. I stalked out in the morning, buying brushes, stealing tape. I chose colors from plastic squares laid out in from of me. Green with grey like leaves muddied from puddles moved by the wind. I collected cans and walked them back to my room, popped open with my screwdriver and dipped my black brush into the lake. I held my wrist up inches from the wall. Wake up.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
(Walking the block towards an intersection at night.)
We are shoved up into fences. We are beat with clubs by the heat turned up and on by sirens, circled lights, to take fresh parking space. In the street, free standing galleries never stood a chance, the sun never lit the room through open glass. Ply wood fills up the windows. We'd break through them if we could get away. Count up the diamonds, count out the bills, shove them through stiching in your pickets, into the loose legs of you jean. If we make a break, we run for it. If we trip to the station we are on our own. We'll wish for park benches with cop's club in our side breathing, Wake up!
Friday, April 4, 2008
(Digging through wallets and pockets and socks. Pulling out keys and gum, receipts.)
A hip hop prophet pops on the train, clinging the poles, tapping his thigh and stomping the beat to his song. It's gonna ra-ain, it's gonna rain. This time it won't be water, there's gonna be flame. Ha-Ha just a little gospel entertainment on the way to the house, folks. If you can spare a dollar, a smile, a hello... a Happy New Year, ha-ha... I am sure it'd be returned to ya. I imagine those that I know who would give up a dollar, at least a smile, and I recognize them as the people I admire. I still don't dare to flinch. Most morning's I forget to write it. Wake up.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
(A school bus rounds corners. Children climb up steps too tall for them.)
Do you remember those mornings where the weather woke us by tapping on the windows, growling through the walls and lit the sky? Do you recall hoping through prayers for rain days, where busses wouldn't roll through puddles, splashing us in our cuff soaked slacks? The grass sat soft as marsh when we rolled out in front of the t.v., dragging our feet while getting dressed, too excited to shovel down cereal as the scroll shows counties under cars with water rushing to their sides. Brazos, Montgomery... we'd imagine Harris and we urge the screen to move faster. School districts were never far behind. Wake up.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008. I've been wearing the same shirt for three days now. I've been wearing these jeans for a month. This is your morning wake-up call.
(A series of quilts and women making them.)
Hide in the cabinet. Under sheets. Under blankets your mother folded away after the last of the winter's storm. Snow traipsed in the open window, settling on the bed side table, some hanging on corners now hanging from the shelf. Rest your brow up high in the corner, focusing your eye, centering in on the shadow. Let them flutter until you fall back through all of the pillows and ash, blankets still smelling of winter's drying eyes and the burning wisps from space heating one morning too long. It's time to break open the windows. Wake up.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
(Paint falls from the top of a ladder. We walk the streets looking for the stains in the cement.)
On November first, 1959, the population of New York City was 8,042,783. If you laid all these people end to end, figuring an average height of five feet six and a half inches, they would reach from Times Square to the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan. I know facts like this because I work for an entertainment company -- -- Base Entertainment of New York. We are one of the top five entertainment companies in the country -- last year we wrote nine-point-three billion dollars worth of theatrical productions. Our home office has 31,259 employees -- which is more than the entire population of Natchez, Mississippi of Gallup, New Mexico. I work on the twelfth floor.My name is J.R. Patterson - J. for Jared, R. for Robert -- however, most people call me J. I've been with Base for six months. My take-home pay is $690.70 a week, and there are the usual fringe benefits. The hours in our department are 8:50 to 5:20 -- -- they're staggered by floors, so that sixteen elevators can handle the31, 259 employees without serious traffic jam. As for myself, I very often stay on at the office and work for an extra hour or two -- especially when the weather is bad. It's not that I'm overly ambitious -- it's just a way of killing time, until it's all right for me to go home. You see, I have this little problem with my apartment --
(Thanks to Billy Wilder)
Monday, March 31, 2008
(City streets, face of people who don't even look like they were asleep. Lots of coffee.)
I stand on Sixth and smell waking up with a rock in your side, a part of the ground rolling under a damp tent. The smoke still rolls from the chared wood, now dwindling coals. Sticks are brushed from folding chairs and birds are waking in their ways, somehow calming chirps of distress. The hand turns into a man walking and signals me to move. The smell is the start of a wheeled grill starting hot dogs. This is the life I seem to have chosen. I'm waking up.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008. If you are sleeping in, this is your morning wake-up call.
(The rain fills the night's windshield drop by drop and blurs our vision. the sound of fingertips tapping fill the space. The driver side door opens and two bodies file in, laughing and soaking in the seats. They start the car, turning on the headlights and watch the windshield.)
The heat won't begin until we start to drive. Sit back into the crease of the seat where the air can't blow your damp flesh. Wipe your arms off with my old shirts or jump in the back, changing into my gym clothes, too large and hanging from the shoulder. Pull your knees up to your chin and set your head up on them. Write your name on the fogging windows, write mine. Wake up.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008. On a desert island you never know what might happened. This is your morning wake-up call.
(In the mirror there is a lit lamp with shade. A boy settles up to his reflection. He wears a shirt and tie and ruffled his hair. He turns on his digital camera and shoots himself at a number of angles.)
I know your name is spelled with a "C" but I like it better with a "K". It reminds me of the mornings you stomped across the room from the sink to the coffee maker, filling pots with water and cursing when it started without you. Sepia westerns roll across the television and you asked why they never show the films where our rugged hero with his hair dark, fumbles his words in the presence of high heeled vixens who steal their voice but somehow wraps him up in the end. I took a deep breath to wait for you stomping to break. I said Saturday mornings are for fathers tired and waiting for the rain to stop shooting into his wreck of a yard. The suns still hunt through the cloud cover, so they dig themselves into corners of their living rooms with baskets of laundry, their first bowl of cereal of the week, draining all the milk with loud sip, silver spoon fallen to the side. They'd rather watch our hero, hung out in his older age, taking care of business in the west with his badge and his gun then see him fluttering in the wake of some broad who's too loud, clicking in her heels and snapping back at the words he lays out in front of him. Get out in that yard. Wake up.
Friday, March 28, 2008
(The smoke from a firecracker gets swept up by the wind and streams across the open fields. Two boys in ski jackets and hats scream as each rocket they shoot takes off and exploades in front of their eyes. We stay on the boys faces and the unlit pile, never the explosions themselves.)
In fifteen minutes we'll try to catch the wind on film. Not like the mornings we wake minutes before the alarm clock without the ache from sleep in our bones and you see it's shadow spread across and empty road, but the sound that peels hard against our ears. It's anger is the only symptom that makes it seem active even if it is always moving; like trying to catch it is a glass bottle and watching it shake like grains of sand caught in the swirl, proof of its existence. In my steps down the stairs my scarf will catch glances, whipping in my vision and tripping up my balance. One hand could jut out to the right to catch the step and the other could cover my face. The train won't stop. Wake up.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
(Inside a garage, the door opens slowly revealing the light. It is early in the morning and the sun isn't really showing. In a flicker the fluorescents light the room in cremes and browns, revealing a rowboat on its stand in the center, upside down and unfinished. A man is shown, rolling up his sleeves and circling his wrists with his fingers, cracking his knuckles. He throws his shoulders back and crumbles to the stool beside the boats. A rag sits on the ground, he snatches it up and brushes off the dust from the frame. A screw driver pops the silver top off of a bucket of paint, deep green reflects the light. Brown brush dips and, in deliberate motion, glides along the side of the boat, smoothing out the clumps as they appear.)
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
(A typewriter and two hands typing the words as they are spoken. The shadows of the hands against the walls.)
I am a champion in dust. We settle out to the right where the winds blow west and the bats shoot from their temples. Austin caves shaped like barrels in circus corners and the stretch of their hums leaning against the flaps that fold into one another. Just like the nights of putting ears on the pillowed ground, grass and earth much colder than bare feet remembered. How hollow it must be past the ear drum tickling grass and the settled dirt, no sign of the hot core the text books told us about. All of it is empty, like the caves those bats pour out of. Wake up.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008. What? The sun? We barely knew you were gone. This is your morning wake-up call.
(Lit liquor store signs, short skirts, haze swollen sun sky, lower half of faces with lit cigarettes hanging from them. Some smiles and counting on fingers. Tables, bottles backed into the corners, folded cash under one and used napkins.)
Here are some symptoms: swollen eyes and soft glances, itchy fingers twitching with a laugh or a smile, lips or the teeth on the tongue. Similar shakes of nerves, crippling drips from a fallen glass and the sounds dropping to the floor. Forgetting to watch the cost with your eyes blank and storming, all rolled in on. Running off with a heart in a wheel barrow and tying your shoes to the tracks to keep from stepping off when unsteady, unsure.Crumpled shirts from the floor that can't be smoothed by sweaty palms and the need of a shave. Choking back drinks to blur sweaty vision and sitting in tunnels waiting for the bridge to break, sure someone will try to save you with water filling up. If nothing else, your hurting legs, too tired to allow sleep. Shake 'em off. Wake up.
Monday, March 24, 2008
(A series of empty rooms.)
Oh, the steps we take skipping cabs and buses, the train. The setting sun accosting the sides of buildings, golden grey's and red brick shimmer in sight along with twig-limbed trees who shake in the breaths of wind. We step over grates onto chipped cement, a broken loaf of bread, birds flown from branches to snip it's presence. The chill hits first along circled ear with bikes passed and early closing bars based on the holiday. Theater and restaurants, the two guarantees to be awake. We wish for frozen sign posts and claim the winter as a dull one but secretly miss our Texas dust still embedded in our jeans, the blisters from boots too snug and waking up in newly pitched tents sleep in our eyes and the sound of running water but no sign of a creek. They swear all the lakes were made by man, but we've all dug trenches and stuck filled them with buckets of ocean, buckets only called pails when in such sandy spaces. Oh how the tops of buildings tend to line up equally if horizontal, how they tower when coming in to a point. We notice street posts we'd never seen before, even if they her planted years before we arrived, and little balls, not berries, hanging out of trees. Each holds a plastic bag, from a distance, staring us down as a nested bird. We skip the cab and watch the spokes spinning, even when pedaling moving too fast for us to really see. Oh, and wake up.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008. Trek out to the wood. Clear your land. Pitch your tent. This is your morning wake-up call.
(Construction project, men in hard hats wiping their brows, stacks of wood and metal beams.)
Church bells ring for hours outside the stoop on Sunday mornings, waking up those who last remembered the sun going down Saturday night, bright lights falling out of kitchen windows and on to living room floors. The drinks spilled on couches dry in the chimes, each round claiming to break for seconds, then starting up again in the last of winter's breezes. They end at the touch of a frayed rope let loose the wrap itself along cold concrete, dusted and chipped. We remember each song's shadow as it knocks its way 'round stained windows. We hold up signs in starch, upturned lips and flowers we line up across the stairs. Plastic grass and eggs wait in the den. At four a.m. nobody had seen him. We've had worse long weekends, even if those bells ring relentlessly through our drawn damp shades. It is time to wake up.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
(Room loaded with empty pews. short cropped carpet vacuumed into a pattern. Lightly lit pulpit.)
This is the wood that ships were built with; the wood cut by English tradesmen, crafted by Italian designers in coastal villages overlooking the Mediterranean and the edge of the earth. This is the work of skilled workers, locked in days before, not a sound not a praise. Each sings a thread of worship in their heads. A pain they can't shake as they return to their little cathedrals in devotion to pianists and organists, full robed choirs, angelic's - the things exaltation's are made of. They couldn't stare at their choirs or down at the turn-to-hymn-335's, eyes turned to heaven or to the back of eyelids in rejoicing. The light won't shine bright in the morning, no one to listen to the tune of those creaking outside, stuck in life and not claiming to be out. Another line stretches and strains to be noticed, a flick of a switch, the tip of a lever. Polishing plates with cushions for coins from the hands of children dressed for the occasion. Missing belts bought on the way and breakfast brought in the morning. Good morning, this is morning. Wake up.
Friday, March 21, 2008
(A boy sits at a desk in an empty classroom, white shirt with sleeves rolled up withtwo no. 2 pencils that he pushes back and forth across the wood. A cigarette behind his ear.that he constantly checks for with fingers running through his hair.)
Growth. The shadows sit with lit cigarettes between fingers, the light breaking from the ash. I walked a crooked line, buttoned up, looking for the lights to grow brighter from the talking in of breaths. Inhaling smoke, exhaling laughter. Some have flickering teeth, flickering eyes, dropping their focus. Tomorrow there's a party, for swollen thoughts and bodies and, chances are, we're going to get bruised. Wake up.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Stammering drunk up against the door post in the last days to wear a sweater. The rain falls far off, like the night we heard thunder and saw lightning and smelled it in the air. Warm dew but clear skies. You grabbed my hand and swung me into the back of your truck, telling me to drop down and disapear until it was clear. Clear was the field we lost our bodies to the unkept waves of wheat, laying there quiet till large drops dripped, coming from seemingly nowhere; the sky still clear but the sounds of the weather. I took a few stems from the earth but I lost them in the floorboard, pushed in with boots along with newspapers we stole from your neighbor's. Staying up late, sneaking into their yard to wrap the plastic bag around our wrists and swinging it to spite the fading moon. We fell asleep in ribbons, my head on the dash, yours slid up behind me. I don't remember waking up from the seats. I don't remember waking up. Wake up.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008. Three alarm fire in your bed. Three stations rushed to the bedside table, waking you up with a knocked over glass, spreading in the sheets. Another pillow is ruined. This is your morning wake-up call.
The two play in the closet, the kitchen, the yard. They step out onto the bridge with sticks in hand, waving them at their captors. Soon they turn to guns with handles. They spot animals in the trees and bandits down below. One hangs just a little more convincingly over the side while the other rests his head. Dressed in Sunday best a day early. Shoes polished and hair combed into place. Lick of fingertips to smooth out parts. What is in that wooden box? Why are we driving up to the church? You wish now that you'd picked a more subdued color for the car, even if it doesn't match the leather interior. They nudge your purse for crayolas, swinging legs on pews. Isn't every service kind of like a funeral? Discussion of death and resurrection... something about Heaven. The path that leads to Heaven is trying to match your children's footsteps in the mud as you walk along behind them. The straight and narrow is paved with backyard picnics and chalk paintings scribbled out on sidewalk. The way to righteousness is explaining that the sun doesn't mix with the clouds to ruin the day; They are just trying to make a rainbow. Soon they will be carving their names into the wood and the names of girls down the street. The bikes will be left in other yards and the cloud cover won't bother them anymore. Wake up.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Let the paper flow from the the window, onto the street and into the neighbors yard. They have been printing pictures you took with your sister on the lake. The rain hit your windshield in the dark, seconds to see out in front of you after the wipers pushed it to the side, 'til the glass filled up again. Somehow the moon shone through the clouds, but you both sat, afraid to move, put the car and drive and ride along the shore. Each shot was evidence of mud on your tires, kicked up on the door, thick enough not to be washed off by the rain. Even leaves kicked up by the turns in the road stick to the side in the downpour. The night your sister asked you to teach her how to drive. She asked why we never saw lightning shoot yellow out of clouds, zig zagging to the earth, and why the clouds don't look like connected U's filled in with grey. You asked her why wet newspaper leaves letters on the kitchen table and how many syllables she would like to have in her name. You knew the answer. Skip this morning's paper. Wake up.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008. Was that the door or was that the phone? It could just be the end of your dreams. It's at least the beginning of your day. This is your morning wake-up call.
"This time is love." She grabbed the pen from my pad and tossed it into the wayward snow. She took my wrist and made me palm the ice, first I flinched from the cold but I palmed it with the flurries and shards escaping through my open fingers. How many words were written? Must have been thirteen. The moisture formed from the warmth of my plumping hands, blood rushing through to melt the ice around me, much colder wet than that sharp dry pain. I looked up to the sky, no clouded shadow, no buried atmosphere, all open for creation. The earths twigs towered above us,stretching , trying to cover it, but the waif like bends and pale bare bones don't do much that show how dark it really is, dark and wide. The sky mocks our pond even as it holds strong to the white, so white it almost turns blue from layer to layer of sheets of ice. The same way fire flicker blue flame the hotter it gets. Blue as the color of the extreme, "What is on your knee?" she said, staring through torn jean? The red seeped onto the ice, almost brown, maple syrup lumping, trying not to spread anymore than it had to. A scab already starting to form. I rubbed it off with my jean and said she would be the worst wife in the world. "But you'd still marry me." Hazel eyes, chocolate hair, dark like the devil. The eyes, the legs, the jaw. I pictured long legs hanging out of bathtubs,stilettoed and what was under those bubbles? What what? Was there a heart or just warm flesh? Either would do. I could feel my heart beating. Can you? Wake up.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008. Add all of the numbers on your alarm clock up. The red lines can't get you. Keep your eyes on the blurring light. This is your morning wake-up call.
Yesterday you ate two candy canes before getting in the shower. The last two on the counter. You sat towards the back of the tub, waiting for the water to warm and pulling rogue plastic from you lips - the pieces who felt like they were a part of something, months past their expiration. They will get sent out with the garbage, if they are lucky, or might just fall behind the toilet until the next big clean. Waiting, for the water you reached for a fallen magazine and searched for something you have not seen. Throw out everything outdated. The water is getting warmer. Wake up.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008. Your alarm clock is playing songs you don't ever want to hear. The coffee is burnt but ready. This is your morning wake-up call.
The sunshine is oranger in New Orleans because it's below the sea level. The sun tires out by the time it reaches her and loses all of its brash brightness, like the sun that reaches Florida shores or hits California sands. Even the sun is world weary down along the court house, watching out for voodoo priestess' looking to scam from him a buck. Gypsies sit on park benches and read hands, asking to feel the warmth of their wallets. So many skulls are left unburied. Roman Catholics hold rosaries over post recovery streets, their hands illuminated by the golden halos. He can hear distant horns pouring through the streets and teenage girls following, he goes deep sea fishing when following out the Mississippi. He even lingers for nights in the French Quarter. The city and the sun fell in love when small boats were sucked out past them into the oceans, blown back by the winds. Is "oranger" a word? Lets go get some beignets. Wake up.
Friday, March 14, 2008
She says, "Nothing ever happens at ground level. Its always somewhere underground or on the tops of buildings, basements, or in lofts looking over the city. Shady deals are done underground and even worse things happen in board rooms, shiny wood finish and chairs swiveling. No, nothing ever happens on the first floor." I took a step back. "What about holding soil in your hands or running out into the ocean? What about the waves? You cant catch a crab and put him in your moat on the 31st floor. What about late nights out in the field, everyone drove up in the backs of pick ups, beds down, cases of beer to rest your feet? What about falling asleep in my arms with your head against a tree, sun shouting through leaves? you can't ride your bike underground and you can't feel the wind. There is no way to scuff up your shoes on the 31st floor. There is nothing at all." Wake up.