October 28, 2011

The Closet

My room is the closet. I've lived with my hippie friends three times, and I've stayed in a variety of rooms, but never the closet. I've heard tales of watching the hummingbirds come to the feeder outside the window and other enjoyable experiences, like napping, in the tiniest of rooms. The closet is the first room on the left at the top of the staircase. It was originally the bathtub and shower portion of the third-floor bathroom. Then somehow cement fell down the drain, and the tub no longer worked. A community member at the time, John, remodeled it into a nook of a room with a slim loft bed. This was about 1980. John didn't sleep in the room. It was more of a showcase piece. People just started living in it. These days beneath the loft is a dresser and a built-in trunk with a trap door that John originally fashioned to be a desk with a swinging tabletop. The space beneath the loft has undergone many transformations. The room itself attracts much in the way of decoration. Sam hung the bird feeder outside the window a few years ago. Sybilla painted the walls, floor and door a couple years ago. Before I moved into the closet this week, Mitchell was living here. Someone will stay here after me.

I plan to live in the commune through the end of the year. I'm grateful for what is my fourth stay here since 2006. I am diligently working on my animal shelter story and expect it to publish in December. I will keep you posted. I'm looking forward to talking more about putting it together. Meantime, I may write a little about this alternative lifestyle I will be participating in for the next couple months. And the house we all live in.

October 25, 2011

Peace Plan

The official decree says we aren’t supposed to hold hands. The newspaper of record says it’s an act of treason to smile at each other. The politician announces that we are not allowed to assemble in public if we plan to do so for longer than ten minutes.

My flower power queen, I want to climb the nearest garbage truck and sing about us. I want to croon it to the haters doing their best to disguise their fear. I want to drape my arms over the redcoats and chalk pink hearts on their shields.

Experiencing the basic principle of this world is a tradition: You do what the man with the gun says.

The expectations dwarf me. The grand plans might wash us away. I was born under a purple moon and honestly, no one really wants to see us together. But I’ll go anywhere you lead me, no matter which world, no matter which brand of gun.

For dVerse Open Link Nite.

October 20, 2011

Mr. Slow Learner

I have learned something worth learning.

Sure, I know how to touch your body a thousand different ways.

But it’s love that brightens the sky.

And making you happy is the greatest turn-on of all.

October 19, 2011

The Cave

I lie wounded in this cave. Deeper, something sleeps. Soon it will smell blood and come alive.

I won’t have to wait long. My head wound gapes wider each time I pull myself out of my acid rain and into this cave.

When I began evicting monsters from my past, I foolishly thought the project was all finished after a cleansing. Now I know the spirits own the catacombs of a damaged mind.

My night demon is coming awake. He is so big and beautiful. And fast. I feel myself smile fully for the first time since I last held such hope. Of course I will scream because I am a man. I can only dream he puts me away this time, and the earth tastes me in my entirety.

Franklin's Wolf

I read an amazing book, The Wolf in the Parlor. It’s non-fiction and written by Jon Franklin, a renown science writer and talented storyteller. In fact, when Franklin worked as a newspaper science reporter, the Pulitzer committee created a category so Franklin could win the prize in the early 70s because he so clearly deserved to.

The Wolf in the Parlor looks at the probability that early humans and wolves evolved together to become modern man and the dog.

Where we come from is one of the most fascinating and important questions we can entertain, I believe. Even a cursory review of the evolutionary trail brings us in touch with the enormous length of time as well as physical pain it took for us to get here, and how we have occupied the top dog position on this planet so very briefly.

If you are a dog lover, you’ll definitely enjoy the book. But even if you are not, the book provides historical insight on who we are because of where we come from. I highly recommend The Wolf in the Parlor.

Franklin also wrote one of the best books on writing I ever read, Writing for Story, but that's another post and another plug:)

Between picking up some work last week and going to a wedding in Chicago over the weekend, I detached here. But I'm very much looking forward to reading everyone's blogs and getting inspired to write creatively.

October 9, 2011

Did You Check The Oil?

The old Chevy van squeaked on ancient springs so that heads and even torsos at bus stops a quarter of a mile away turned to see. There were small dents and scratches, evidence that it was a working van, nothing more. A window was missing for a while. The button on the back door was missing permanently and short thumbs had trouble opening it. The back doors were full of bumper stickers of the far left wing variety. On the sides written in large letters: ‘Money for Human Needs, Not War.’

The steel floor between the bench seats was stained with years and years of spilled coffee from cups held by lazy morning hands during bumpy rides. That’s not to ignore the color contributed by the tea stains and juice stains and oatmeal, raison ruptures, and general grime, it’s just to say that coffee appeared to be the dominant stain.

Over the course of forty years, many different donated vehicles have been used to shuttle these hippie friends of mine between their commune and the soup kitchen they run a few miles away. The blue van served that purpose faithfully for ten years before dying completely.

For dVerse poetry pub's call for bumper sticker inspiration.

If you'd like read more about my hippie friends and I, here's a story from earlier in the year.

October 7, 2011

Out of Silliness

I am a silly dreamer.

I dream of leaving no debt to our children and grandchildren.

I dream of ending wars most people oppose.

I dream of a very simple and fair taxation system.

I dream of people witnessing an in-depth discussion of these issues by knowledgeable people across the political spectrum.

Among the silliest of dreamers, I tell you.

I don’t plan to write more about this. I want to return to more fun, creative writing. World events get to me sometimes. If you don’t agree with where I’m coming from these last couple posts, I’m extra thankful because how we treat each other is how the world goes. 

October 6, 2011

From the Heart

My heart and mind is with everyone involved in the Occupy Wall Street protests, from L.A. to Chicago to New York. The love and loyalty of the sun and moon to all who recognize that our political system is broken and all who oppose the continued indebting of our children and grandchildren.

Those who make their voices heard and challenge authority will predictably be mocked by the servants of power.

It is a grand tradition in this world.

October 5, 2011

Slipped Out

When the shadows grow so dark and night appears to have conquered the land, I genuflect and kiss the claw of the dark master. I’m very reliable that way. Put a little pressure on me and I powder like ash.

A little friction lets out so much blood because I celebrate the cuts. I salt them and stew.

You are a peppermint cupcake in my throat, but don’t look for me tonight.

I’m tonguing someone else.

October 3, 2011

Breaking and Entering

There is a hole in the ceiling of the universe that leads to ancient waters.

There is a crack in the floor that leads to ancient fire.

Within, I hold something ancient, too. It is guarded by illusion no burglar can master.

For I have tried, and I am considered skilled.

We may never know the reason for the water in the sky or the fire in the ground.

All I know is you broke me open.

Thief in the night.

For dVerse Open Link Night and Gooseberry Garden's call for Love and Loss.