The Pyromancer’s Daughter

You’re like fireworks after new years,
that warm glow after a few beers,
or adding too much spice it burns so far down.

You’re the hot breath of a fevered kiss,
the tingle trickle dribbling on your lips.
You’re the best of everything
of anything good I’ve ever known.

So when I’m out and lost
all I want is to come home.

The hours drag by without you
burning long and slow,
but a day in your bed
elapses quicker than striking a match head,
and pretty soon it’s time to go.

Time with you is barehanded catching smoke.
There are no wrong ideas,
only miss-picked fights,
Because when I look at you,
the light bends a halo
round’ your head.

You the prism of my heart,
reflecting and refracting,
the dullness day to day into a
passionate fire instead.

I squint and lose perspective;
are you close or are you far?
If I run into the distance,
will I kiss you or will I miss you
by trusting my own misguided heart?

So I’d rather run blind into the flames.
Because you’re the best of everything
of anything good I’ve ever known.
So when I’m out and lost
all I want is to come home.

 

The Orange Dress Part IV: Social Media is Killing me

A breakup is like twisting an oreo cookie with a partner.  One person is indubitably escapes with most of the proverbial cream filling, while the other person is left with various smudges of their dignity clinging to an empty chocolate wafer.  I am the raw cookie.  Whatever was shared between us, she took most of it with her.

The internet, and namely social media is slowly killing me.  In the wake of a breakup, as the one broken I am left wondering constantly as to where she is or what she is doing.  But thanks to Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and twitter I know exactly.  I know what she ate, I know what music she’s been listening to.  But it’s not really her.  The internet makes no mention of the pile of dirty clothes on her floor, or the way she grinds her teeth when she sleeps, or the way she’ll stubbornly believe anything her gut tells her to, regardless of the copious amounts of proof to the contrary.

There’s a study published in the Newyorker: How Facebook Makes us Unhappy naming the “social comparison” we feel when we look at others on the internet, measuring the satisfaction and the happiness in our lives compared to the lives of others.  Social comparison is kicking my ass.  The internet provides a 24 hour voyeuristic view into her personal life.  At my weakest moments, when I am the most alone, her whole life can be sprawled out in front of me on a glowing screen.  Only it’s not her whole life, it is the “best-of” reel of everything she’s ever done or experienced.  Each glossy photo is meticulously chosen among many.  The one where her hair falls perfectly.  The one where the light catches her face just right.  The one where her breasts look heavenly.  It’s a clean and tidy storefront of exactly the life she wants to portray.  It’s ribbons and lace.  It’s perfume and polish.  And my aching heart, battered and bruised as it is becomes all the more damaged each time I look.

Twenty years ago this wasn’t a problem.  Maybe a friend would see her out somewhere, and that would get passed back along eventually, but for the most part people were left alone with their thoughts to mourn.  In this modern day and age, all of the internet works against me.

The ideal solution is to just not look.  To put it all away and think of this as a growing moment.  But I know I can’t shut out the internet.  It travels with me in my pocket, it courses through my television set, and sits atop my lap at night.  Lap – top.  It takes a second of weakness in the dark of my bed and I can have her prettiest face in front of me on my tiny screen clutched in my hand.  I can’t beat it.  My own curiosity eats me alive on the daily. So instead I will counter it.

For a while at least, this blog is going to be for remembering exactly what I need to remember.  So every time I see this face:
Pretty

I can remember that it’s also this face:

Sushi Mouth

…and who she really is, is somewhere in between these two extremes.  Not the perfect made-up fantasy the internet and my imagination has created to haunt me.  But the girl I took out to eat sushi with no makeup on Halloween because we were sick.  Someone human and flawed, full of perfect imperfections.  This is going to be my fighting chance for maintaining my own sanity in an otherwise insane time.  Wish me luck.

Edit:
http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/four-factors/

The Quarry

Two soul mates drawn together, but fated for love misaligned.  She was born one week too early’ or him, one week to late, through a cruel twisting of time.  So when she whispered “I love you”  and all he heard was “I’m angry” echoed from the week before.  When he said “you’re the one I come home to”, all she heard was “I hate you” and so they fought.   When he finally mustered his apology– she was already gone.  He was left’ haunted by echoes and shadows yet unable to respond.

 He couldn’t live without her, so he encased himself in stone, vowing to spend the next three hundred and fifty eight days alone.  Within the walls of without her, he withered, wishing to be out there, somewhere with her; whether she understood him or not.  He would  be a gentler lover, speaking adoringly of her, so as the weeks turned, there would be nothing to be misheard.  Not – one – word.  Her name and his love became a prayer on his lips, whispered repeatedly and clutched to his chest like a crucifix– until his last breath left him.  

She had traveled a great distance and burned a good length of life, when her queried heart turned her gaze to look behind.  Finding his old  quartz quarry she wandered inside. And there, she heard him for the first time.  Over and over again, the cavern was filled with the echoes of him.  Her name.  His love.  His life. 

The Pirate King

The Pirate King craves a woman made
of earth and stone, hearth and home.
She reminds him that even the endless seas
are bordered by mountain peeks,
and ultimately’
they do end.

She is his homestead;
the big X on his heart’s map.
She is his guiding north star.
She is hist rusty oar
and the renewed strength in his arms.
She is the wind to push him in the dead calm.
She is the lighthouse to keep him off the razor-rocks,
she is his crow’s perch
and his sandy berth in dangerous tides.

She is the dirt under his nails to remind’
him of the gentleness of her shores,
And at last with land is under his feet,
After traveling the atlas–
He returns eagerly, to her doors
to look in her eyes,
wanting nothing more–
–than her.

Poison

She dosed me with the most vile of drugs, that spread through my heart and lungs as I slept, with her words as soft and beautiful as the day we first met.  Her poison crept into my waking life, wrecking my body turning my eyes vacant and my heart heavy. And my mind, mine mind wandered away from me restlessly searching for the cure to that which slowly killed me by spilling my insides out.  I limped along watching my flesh decay and fall away, leaving a grieving trail of ‘what was’ behind me.   And the poison she slipped me all the while smiling, dropping the vile vial with the label spinning face up shining in the sunlight so I could barely make out those four small letters:

…she gave me “hope”

And it has killed me.

The Orange Dress Part III: Reconciliation

We miss each other… the way two warring snipers miss each other for hours or days on end.  The battlefield is littered with fog and smoke, obstacles and corpses of who we were and the wreckage of it all.  We fought a prolonged campaign of long distance tag.  A text message.  A late night phone call. Both hiding and shooting but never truly making any real contact.

We waged this war for weeks.   All I thought about was her.  All I wanted was her.  But all I could muster is a stray shot every few days.  Missing her was a constant gnawing pain, a fever that pulled at my bones and muddled my head.  But missing her, taking that chance to start a dialogue only to have it ignored or brushed aside, that killed me.   No matter how many times I thought over the phrasing or the timing, how many times I rewrote the lines it always came out like the sharp crack of a bullet spiraling down the barrel of a rifle.  There would be no re-connection, no rekindling.

I knew there were guys taking her out on dates… social media let me be eaten alive by my own curiosity-monsters as they gnawed at me relentlessly.  I checked in on her frequently, now an outsider peeking through a window on my lap into her quickly fleeting world.  I hoped somehow she was doing the same.  I buried myself in other girls, each one more shallow and hollow than the last.  No amount of rouge or soft skin could satisfy me.  Each experience left me feeling all the more alone and missing her.  I hoped she was feeling the same.  I hated every single one of the guys she was out with.

Finally, she texts me that she’s dropping off my stuff.  She’s leaving it outside of my car in my parking spot, unwilling to face me directly.  This makes me furious, to have my things so casually and cowardly discarded.  I tell her I have things of hers to give her.  She says she’ll wait.  I bolt down the stairs with the tattered Orange Dress in hand.  I see my things piled neatly outside of my car.  She’s parked on the side.  I stride up to her and throw the dress through her open window.  I go back to my car and begin putting my stuff away.  Weights.  Books.  Heavy things from our past life I was too quick to grab, things she laboriously carried back to me.

She exits her car.  I hear her car door close and see her approaching me  I ignore her and continue stuffing my belongings into my truck.  I hold tightly to my anger, unwilling to feel anything else.  She catches me in an embrace.  We stand there in silence for what seems like an eternity.  Reluctantly, my arms wrap around her.  I’ve missed this.  I’ve missed her warmth.  I breathe in the familiar scent of her hair.  My mouth finds her mouth, it’s a salty and hungry kiss.  I press my body against hers, feeling the squish of her breasts against my chest, the curve of her hips against my own.  Instinctively I put my hand between her legs, reaching up her skirt.  She stops me.  I can see the the same passionate hunger gnawing in her eyes, pulling at her.

“Do you want to go driving somewhere?”

We go barreling up the mountainside in her car.  I look over at her; she’s more beautiful than I ever remembered.  More alive, more vibrant than ever before.  This time apart has refreshed us, renewed her energy and renewed my thirst for her.  The orange dress is on the floor of the passenger seat at my feet.  I wrap it around my foot, like a fork twirled in rancid spaghetti.  It clings to me like a wounded animal.  The road we’re on is a series of hazardous switchbacks, zigzagging back and forth.  I can’t take my eyes of her.  She keeps looking over at me.  There’s a strong likelihood these longing gazes will end up getting us killed.  The dress is in my lap.  I stroke it, like a super villain stroking his cat.  There was something important I was supposed to remember about this dress.  Something about the texture.  Something about the color.  Something tugging at the nape of my neck, ready to unravel everything.

“Throw it out the window!” she yells.

“Just like that?”

“Do it!”

I dangle the dress out the window, my clenched fist unwilling to let go.  The wind whips it from my grasp pulling it out into the black night.  With that one sweeping gesture, every past slight is forgotten.  Every wrong and every fault of who we were and the damage we did to each other leaves the car with that horrible tattered garment.  At the top of the mountain, we’re together.  Talking, reconnecting.  The misery that I carried with me for months drops off of me like a heavy iron cloak and instead we are draped together in a joyous veil of each other.  It colors the night so the stars sparkle brighter, the air tastes crisper, and every breath every second is better than the one before it.  Eventually words fail and steam fills the windows, we’re doubled over each other in the backseat.   We drive back to her place and the night fades in a tumbling blur of sex and ecstasy.  I wake up with her face inches from mine.  I spend the morning just gazing at her, trying to relearn every curve, every line, every nuance of her face, a memory I tried so hard to repress.  This is the happiest I’ve been in months.

It isn’t until the next morning, the glowing morning haze when she’s driving me back to my apartment.  I spy something on the ground of the passenger seat.  A torn strap from the orange dress, a little twisted larva wriggling for survival.  She hasn’t seen it.  I tuck it into my boot.  I don’t know why I kept it– but I did.

The Black Moth

Shes sawed frantically at the cord,
desperate to free herself
from the beast that dragged her.

A monster that snapped and popped,
un-furrowing like a giant moth
spiraling in the night.
It tugged at her heart
and it jerked at her loins
as it spun and dived;

it kept her restrained and confined,
squeezing her tightly against her will.  

It jackknifed’ through the air
deftly avoiding the branches and snares
she cursed it as she would
a garrote around her throat.

With her little blade,
she gnawed at the cords that bound her.
Finally in a breath a victory–
she cut herself free…

…and she fell.  

As her parachute was left to sail in the wind.
An unburdened kite, all the more lightened.

The Greatest Deception

I spend every night in your bed, my head sleeping inches from your head as we dream.   Every morning I wake up and the first things my eyes see are the speckled ceiling and your sleeping face.  The first taste on my lips are your lips, the first words of my day go into your ears, and the first thing I hear are your words or your moans, whichever I can muster first.   We spend our morning intertwined, our bodies overlapping and intersecting, breakfast may only be twenty feet away but it’s a journey to leave this bed.  We eat and get dressed and I marvel at how lucky I am to have met you.  Reluctantly we leave to earn the wages that allow us to sleep in this bed another day. My waking hours disappear in a blur, full of people less important than the one I woke up with, and the one I return to.  And we hurry home to cook and drink wine and talk about the things we did, each activity less important than the one occurring now.  The hours pass in conversation until eventually sleep overcomes us somehow.  And I fall asleep with you in my arms, with the satisfaction knowing tomorrow I will wake up to more of the same.  

The greatest deception is realizing I’m the only one who feels this way.  That gossips and whispers matter more than anything I’ve said or could ever say.  Anything I’ve done or ever will do can be undone or subdued– by simply being accused.  My life is a lie, a giant stage and me  mere player on the set.  And the moment the script changes, the walls are moved and I am shuffled out again.  The phones don’t ring and the computers don’t type as they are all merely props.  The set shuffles and I am dropped off the edge of the world… 

The Lion Tamer

“Foul beast!” She cried as she snapped her whip at his face, the terrible leather tendril blazing with rage.  The Lion shuddered and huddled against the bars of his cage.  “Monster!  Man-mauler!  Devourer of children in the night!”  Though the sting from her lash could barely pierce the Lion’s thick hide, the ferocity of Her words wounded his heart and his pride– as a lion loves his pride.   He had eaten no children.  He had maimed no men.  But She struck out repeatedly, over and over again.  “Cruel killer!” She shrieked.  “Destroyer of lives!”  And soon he came to believe Her, having been struck so many times. 

She left exhausted, having whipped him to her fill.  The lion beaten, lying, alone in his cell.  Dejected but determined, he vowed to change.  So in the following days he traded in his claws for softer paws to better hold a fork and knife.  He filed down his fangs and gave up eating flesh, opting for fruits, vegetables, and bread.  He gave up hunting and prowling and stalking his prey, and instead took up reading and calligraphy by the dull light of his cage.  He forsook the things that made him a Lion, until he was more domestic cat than beast.  When next She saw him, he hoped She would be pleased.  

Some time later She returned to Her Lion, with whip in hand.  “Cold-blooded slayer!” She screamed, striking with her coiled lash, again and again.  “Butcher!” He raised his declawed paws in protest.  “Murderer!”  He pleaded with dull fangs, now ground down to nubs.   “Slayer of souls!  Killer of men!”  She could not hear beyond the fury and sound of Her own mouth.  She backed him into the corner, with Her whip raised high over Her head and…

…He pounced!  

His muscular maw shredded her jugular from her throat, and in that intimate moment neither of them spoke.  Terror-wide-eyed but triumphant, she lay gasping on the floor.  The Lion was now the monster she had always accused him for.  Slowly, with dull teeth and filed claws he began eating her face.  She twitched and shuddered under his massive weight.  He crunched the cartilage of her nose, slurped the flesh from her cheeks, he plucked her eyes from their sockets, he was now truly– Her Beast.  

Sick.

I lay there, crippled by the betrayal of my own body.  Poisoned bitterly by the toxins within me, writhing in agony.  Just hours before, I was a man standing on my own two feet.  Yet come nightfall I lay feebly fetal, curled up on a ball on the cold linoleum bathroom floor. The pain was terrifying, my own muscles screaming mutiny as they seized and contorted to betray me, to flay me alive a man on the slab torn by the content his own limbs.  I thought of death and dying, pain and crying and it filled me.

Yet, all I can remember is how she lay beside me, calming soothing.  She awoke each time I stirred, and each cry of pain, each grotesque drip from my battered bowels, she heard.  She rubbed my spine as I threw up the contents of my insides, left there in the porcelain platter bare and battered in front of her.  She saw me at my weakest.  And she carried me and comforted me, wiping the sweat from my brow and the bile from my chin and lay me down time and time again to rest in her bed.

No one loves you, like the person who loves you when you’re sick.  And I’ll forever love you for this.