Saturday, December 29, 2012

Red chair variations

Seated on a small red plastic chair
Going fast
down a
The chair's metal legs screech
As they scrape the asphalt

Riding the chair, I dash down the mountainside
In front of me just the open air
I remember the climb up from its other side
(Steep rise
I grab soil with my fingers
The grains scratch my palms
My feet dig into the soft earth)
And then, at the peak,
Looking down
To see the drop all the way to the

Feeling quite nervous
I immediately find myself hurtled on the
Small red plastic chair
As I gallop
Holding tight to the seat’s edges
Vibrate as the chair and I buck on the paved road
I think I can smell the friction of metal and tar
Underneath me
Pebbles sliding all around
My body leans forward dangerously

Am I screaming?

Sunday, December 16, 2012


“You are not paralyzed, I am not a mute,” said the dead branch to a one-winged dove.  “If you wish, you could go and leave this place.”
“And you,” she asked.
“I am still here, but not anymore, not at all.”
“How come,” she said and her single wing twitched.
“The story is long, and I no longer know it,” he rasped.
“Ah,” sighed the bird and turned her head away.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

They were once somebody’s beloved baby

In a late-morning hour I am trying to organize my room.  Moving things from one spot to another.  Bewildered by the disarray.  Yells outside my window keep me distracted.  I recognize the voice of the person who sometimes shouts in the mornings, and whose face I had never seen. 

I go out to the porch.  In the street below stands a small woman.  Her white hair falls to her shoulders in splintered wisps.  It seems as if it has not been combed or washed in quite a while.  Her face is wrinkled and some of her teeth, so it seems from a distance, are missing.  A frayed dress hangs on her small frame in simple lines.  Her hand-gestures and stooped shoulders convey rage and distress. 

“He is knocking on my door.  Tell him to stop knocking on my door!”  Her repeated accusations are followed by a rain of swears, her arms slam against the sides of her body in sharp and quick motions.

On the roof of a two-story house across the street, a man is hunched over the shingles, hammering pieces back into place.  He glances at the woman below from time to time.  She does not look up at him, and shoots her complaints at the passersby.

At the street’s corner sits another woman.  Her face is dark and roughed-skin from sunshine and years.  Whenever I walk by, I find her sited on the sidewalk with her back leaning against the drugstore’s window, legs folded under the faded blanket that covers her, a flowery headscarf tight to her head. 

She spits an endless concoction of incomprehensible syllables.  Her wild gaze is fixed away, beyond the street.


I leave the porch and reenter my room.  My eyes travel across the chaos created by my belongings with a creeping anxiety.  I try to imagine these two women in their youth.  Was there a clue to their present, in the past?

In the movie The Conversation, a young woman, passing by an older man lying limply on a park bench, says:  “Whenever I see one of these old guys … I always think they were once somebody’s beloved baby boy.”

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The weather today

The weather today is clear and nippy.
I think I’ll wear the black coat,
Red boots,
And set out to the main road.
Drivers will honk at me, and perhaps hum a simple tune.

             A general price increase was just announced in the radio;
                          Cigarettes will go up by fifteen percent.
                          I do not smoke.

Someone will stop me in the street and ask for the time.
I shall reply, “I have no watch.”