"There's not much doubt in any of our minds that no complete idea springs fully formed from our brow,
needing only a handshake and a signature on the contract to send it off into the world to make twenty-five billion dollars.
The germ of the idea grows slowly..." - Walt Kelly

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Free for all

Her boss was an empty chair
that sometimes swiveled on its own;
pirouettes on four worn-down wheels
and a slim steel base
that would hold up an emperor
if he ever decided to show up.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Givers, Meantime

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Plain to see

This isn't a fairy tale. She knows it because in that version, he isn't breaking up with her. In that version, he's holding out something small, indistinguishable if not for its shine. She doesn't need anything fancy - she conceded that long ago - so the object's modesty doesn't faze her.

But that isn't this version, she reminds herself. He's still talking on the other side of the kitchen table, but at this point she's barely paying attention. She remembers the beginning of the conversation, when he told her that she "didn't do anything wrong." She wonders how, if that's really the case, this is entirely necessary. She knows the real reason he called her. She knows the real reason he asked her if he could stop by. It's that new girl in the consumer marketing division. She wonders, if she really didn't do anything wrong, what this girl has been doing right, in particular. She wishes she could ask and take notes. She knows how strange that would be.

He finishes talking and asks if she's okay. She is, and she's not sure entirely why, but she doesn't question it. Sure, she says, I'll be fine. He says he's sorry, which she isn't sure she believes, and she represses the urge to make a smartass comment at the new girl's expense. He stands up and walks to her side of the table. He leans in to kiss her cheek, and does, and she turns to stare at him, wondering if he knows the cliche about insults and injuries. He leaves the apartment and closes the door behind him. She hasn't moved from her seat.

She turns and stares out the window, eyes to the sky. Her kitchen is dim, so she can see the edges of a few constellations, peeking out from behind the corners of neighboring buildings. On nights like these, she fancies that she is out there, too - a star burning an unimaginable distance from the earth, hidden in the dark, visible only to those who care to look the hardest.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Delta Spirit, Strange Vine

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sour notes

All her life was percussion,
deep bass thumping in her chest.

There were times she spent abroad
that left her eardrums buzzing,

nights in strange, lonely places.
There were glimpses of sunlight

but then she was on her way,
a cobbled road back home to rest.

And if each dreary afternoon
could be just a little less acoustic

and a little more ringing brass,
she would know which melody

would lead her closest to the dream
and to rhythm's smooth embrace.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Middle Brother, Million Dollar Bill