Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Jacob Alias

When the music's over, turn out the lights.

When the music's over, turn out the lights.

Is the music over, Jacob Alias? What do you hear now, as you wither behind sterile cinder block walls and trace the spaces between the cold steel bars...your crime, spreading joy for the hopeleas-loving the loveless. Fear not compadre...your years are young.

I hear nothing...the sweet deafening sound of nothing as I draw a deep breath from the icy air and trace the long shadows of my embittered wife with the blood of a dying heart. My crime, stealing joy from the delicate garden of her heart...loving her loveless soul.

When the music's over, turn out the lights.

Was it over for dear Jim, tbe lost lonely Door, as he slipped lazily down the drain at last, back into the womb of the LA Woman?

Dear friend, our song begins to end the moment it hits the turntable. Our hearts begin to break with the first beat...our lives begin to end the very second we are born.

I know this also to be true, Jacob Alias...

It is not time that kills us with its heavy thoughtless march. No, the sour, often subtle songs of life are what kill us as we bide our time in this mad world...the sudden dissonant dives that slice through our symphony, shattering the movement, carrying us, breathless, ever closer to the barren earth from which we came. For a time we dust ourselves off, rebuild, rewrite, rise from the dead. We crawl again, we walk again, we love, we fuck, we fly again. We crash again. And again. Then comes the hour, Jacob Alias, for each of us, when the music's over. Then comes the final dawn when the sunlight no longer aids our vision, but merely burns our eyes and dries up our dreams. I am a parched and blind drunkard on a Sunday morning. If I cannot taste her love again then let me remain this way.

I told you old friend...I cannot love anymore. I cannot even fuck..I can't be bothered. I do not care that I cannot love or fuck. Should  I care that I do not care?

I am writing you now (forgive my selfish intent) for fear that soon I will have no words to say. When that day comes I am merely a ghost, Jacob Alias, that has passed through you and left, like a momentary autumn chill.

When that day comes, dearest friend. the music is over...turn out the lights.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Your Street


To the one and only Sharie...

I remember King Street, age 15
My new home
I remember the payphone...
the black, cold and heartless handle
that I buried in its bracket
when Mother cursed and confirmed
my new residence

But your street, my love,
is a darker place
than that cocaine jungle
full of fun-houses and faggots
and cold nights
and cops cars
I'd ask them to arrest me
that I may defrost in a heated room
and find retreat
from the rats that gnawed at my feet
I once promised them a rock through the window of
Canada Trust
if I must

Your street holds no room
for even a cell
in which to survive another night

I always promised myself
that I'd find the morning
if I walked far enough
that there would be Manna
spread out on a dewy lawn
I grew cat's eyes

Your street, my love,
 holds no such hope for me
Your street is a maze
drawn up in darkness
maintained by misery
and I, in a corner now
as you close in at last
Though I must remind you
that surely my bones
will not be enough
to line your crooked path
to pave your perfect plan
You will need to find another
when I am gone

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How does my blood taste?

Oh, my bittersweet mongrel dog, how does my blood taste? 
Are the spoils of your hunt spilling over with the sustenance you so
crave?  Is the weight of your task truly a mere afterthought-a labored but brief loss of breath, stinging but subtle salty sweat, a minor cramp in the wake of an incredible orgasm?

I wait, shackled by your curse, a prisoner behind the mile-high windows and the cold concrete walls of the law, gazing out on the row of aged bent birch trees that line the vast entryway to the brooding domain. They stand defiant like war-torn Nazis, rooted fierce against winter's assault. Rugged green English Ivy wraps their trunks like fingerless gloves, disguising every trace of delicate white paper flesh, holding brittle branches fast and firm as they stretch crooked fingers outward, accusing the world just beyond the glorious and vast perimeter. Justice will prevail, they declare, the ancient, steadfast guardians of the sacred chambers within. Justice will prevail, they sneer like the grey-headed blue-suits who bathe in their shadows. 

When alas the trees fall to the torture of time, they will journey deeper into the stone maze to complete their life cycle-the resurrection-to become the very life-blood of truth as we know it. They will rise again, adorned with royal colors, donning the faces of dead old men, numbered and ranked. All hail Mammon. The resurrection, the life, the body and the blood- the blood that was shed for thee by the nameless, the humble, the weak and forgotten. Without thee there is no salvation. Without the sheep, the wolves cannot feast. Without my blood, oh vampire, you will perish.

Again I ask, oh bastard bitch, how does my blood taste?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

For the Time We Have Left...

And history will repeat itself yet again. The characters have changed, but the script remains intact-a black play pulled from a dusty shelf and brought to life again on a dim stage. I shall be my father and the woman who bore my child shall be my embittered, aimless adversary. She will appear as a ragged, aged doll, rarely bothering to bother with appearances anymore. I shall be a skeleton with sunken eyes, rarely bothering to nourish flesh that is laced with contempt. Our sin has found us out. As we walked blindly to the wedding altar, we both gave vows to the devil we know. The Devil has taken the reigns and steered us into dark, uncharted waters. In the disastrous wake of our union, we will improvise some of the lines of the original script, but the lethal message will remain the same. The lesson was not learned. The players will reveal all of the ferocity of the original cast. God willing, the children of this generation will not pay as we did, the price of war. Yet if this play is allowed to run every act, they will pay; the parent war will rage on. Let us burn this script, shall we?

written in 2011

“Please just leave us be for the time we have left.”

No! You can’t say that! This game is far from over! 

It nearly killed me, that dagger, bitter womb of my fruit! I open the mail with my morning coffee and out jumps the knife, cutting so deep that every day since has been a recovery. I’m left with a dull, constant crippling pain. I’d survived every one of your blows with fierce eyes and sharp teeth. I’d slept beside wolves on the mean streets when home was no longer an option. I’d eaten crumbs and swallowed every curse you spat at me. But now this: You’re not mine. Go away. 

If I am not yours, the seed of your soul, whatever your soul’s worth, whatever that mysterious primordial bond cashes in at, than I am no-one’s-a flickering, feeble light on a cold, endless trek. No source, no destination. No beginning, a tragic end.  Close the book and call it a life.

I’m vacant. I often cower from the noisy day-to-day: 
“What time will you be home?… help me with the groceries…did you go to the bank?…Daddy can I have…Daddy what’s for dinner…Daddy…Dear…Can I…Can you…Fix this…Are you….When you….Will you…” 

Music is flat and tuneless, food tastes tasteless. There are no guests. If people passed through, I'd need to come alive and serve cheese trays and coffee and paint on a face for the occasion.

I couldn’t help but share with Dad your deeds of days gone by; how you’d cuss and curse that a B should have been an A, how Ted Nugent spoke the doctrine of the devil, how hippy hair would choke out my future, how guitar and girl dreams were simply something found in a bubble gum comic. Quit wasting your mind, gum gets made by the worthless millions! I was bursting at the seams with your wretched burden! I had to exorcise the demon memories. Dad was a good listener. Could I have truly imagined that he would write his own little book and send it off to you, a dagger of his own: Proof that you’re a lousy Mother written by J.W. Burroughs, co-written by his son.? Was it the nature of the attack that turned you sour for me, as though I myself had conspired the rag and tracked down your mailing address? Was it the poison within the pages that sickened you? Was it the person within those words that pushed you out of your window, or was it a collision of all three realities? It certainly dug well below the surface of things. Dad was a deep thinker. I was beside myself the day he pulled out a copy of your gift and handed it to me, beaming as though he’d written the next best-seller and I was the agent who 
would vindicate it all: 

“You wrote this? You mailed it to her? Are you out of your fucking mind?”

I had still hoped, embittered one, that things could be different for us. Dad decided things should be different too…finalized in his own fashion:

“I’m trying to help you out here! Throw me a bone, Jay! You didn’t deserve any of her shit!”  

“ Thirty God-damn years! Thirty years ago! Drop it!"

I half expected one of his signature backhands to silence my rebuttal. None came. Only an icy, distant stare reflected my hopeless reaction, as though the madman was contemplating, perhaps cowering at what I had just said.

"Pour me a drink. Jesus, Dad!”

And there we sat in silence, gulping Sherry and cola, chain smoking, stealing sideways glimpses of one another, pretending to watch the television as it chattered away. We searched painfully for small talk. Dad’s features eventually softened and his eyes became those of a scolded schoolboy:

“I did it for you, you know.”

“Bullshit!" I grumbled as I finally drifted off into a sitting sleep. 

I wasn’t leaving his dusty, smoke-filled cheap-wine reeking apartment that night; he needed a time-out and I had to stand guard to enforce it. 

Dad’s convictions ran through him like a deep and twisted river lined with muddy banks and odd thorny growth where most would dare not tread, but they were his convictions. He fancied himself as being voice for all men. Deep down, I applauded his efforts that day, despite the scolding I laid on him. He had his facts in order, his ducks lined up. He found the words that were stuck in my own throat and shot them like bullets at you. He was an English teacher; he knew the ins and outs of analogies and descriptive. His style was delicious, we both must admit it. He relished the thought of your total demise; that too is undeniable. I wasn’t totally with him on that sentiment, but you’ve been off of my gift list for awhile now. He crafted his raft well and took you down his muddy banks:

“Perhaps a gentle reminder of some of the landmark issues of the past might shed some light on that dim landscape you inhabit…”

Powerful prose. You chewed through every word like it was a tough steak, determined to finish the meal, determined to digest it all and get back to your feet. Dad taught you well how to get back up, at any cost, your ray of light penetrating the surface of things. How many copies of this crap, you wondered. How many copies? (“I intend to show this letter to some people we both know.”)  Close the curtains, don‘t answer the phone! The neighbors could be reading it too! The glossy pages of your Better Homes and Gardens magazine were torn and tossed into a wild wind by Dad’s love letter. You scrambled to piece them all back together so you could hide safely again. You circled and defended your wounded facade like a crazed shark, waiting for me to swim past. How does my blood taste?

There was a way out for you at that moment,  Mother...a chance to leave the surface of things and find a deeper cause, a better condition. It all could have had a happy ending, I swear it. Dad only meant malevolence, but you could have been redeemed! Every soul, at some point must stop and take stock, even when the inventory is ugly. Demons can’t occupy us unless we allow them to. We can’t expel them until we see them. Did you learn nothing working in the hospital? Does a cancer patient deny his condition in the face of facts, even unto death’s door? Did not sickness, suffering, death, health, healing and hope, when all stitched together show you the greater canvas, the map that points us to a more certain destiny? Did you just toss remedies around all day, a needle here, a pill there, like an educated vending machine, no thought to your purpose?  Is your surface so solid that no depth may penetrate it? Perhaps my depth is too deep. Perhaps those rays of light that break through the surface of things haven’t fully reached me down here.

Please just leave us be…

Of course I will.

“...for the time we have left.”

Not  just yet, Mother...not just yet.