Posts Tagged Etudes

Being Human, Occasionally

My mind
strives for meaty
pieces of love, stirring
strangled wails from empty airways
choked dead.


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Friday, Searching From Prison


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Breaking Me Breaking News Breaking Me – A Collage

man charged with beating,
suffocating sisters‏ Platte County authorities

to discuss missing woman’s case 4 vehicles
collide on highway 9 near highway

169 construction workers hurt in possible
lightning strike‏ police: woman found dead in car

near 39th, Kensington‏ report Penn State leaders
didn’t protect kids‏ crashes snarl

morning commute in Johnson County
where can I go? firefighters battle large

landfill fire, fire breaks out at Blue
Springs motel‏ Zimmerman makes

bond, released from jail‏ KCPD investigates office
building break-in on Ward

Parkway‏ jobless rate remains at
8.2%‏ missing Atchison teen found

in Hiawatha‏ bank robbery suspect in
custody after Sugar Creek standoff‏ bank

who are my neighbors? robbery suspect in
standoff with police in Independence‏ Lawrence firefighters

battle large grass fire near neighborhood‏ Zimmerman’s
bond set at $1M‏ Leavenworth authorities seek missing 1

6-year-old‏ crews respond to Blue Springs apartment
fire 2 siblings electrocuted at Lake of the Ozarks‏ person

killed in fall at Westin Crown Center Hotel‏ toddler
found wandering near 39th, Prospect‏ pedestrian

why do I do this? struck by suspect vehicle
during police chase KC police sergeant

accused of stealing from mother‏ man found
dead in home with no working AC or fans‏.


P.S. Pardon my temporary dive into the avant garde. This is the rearranged and deranged text message racket I’ve recently received from a local news station as “Breaking News.” These collage pieces don’t work well for most people, but they are fun for tinkering. Some of you may recognize the last line and a half as inspiration for another piece. Really, all of these little ditties could be the start of tragic, perhaps glorious, short stories if one were diligent and crafty enough.

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A Little Essay While Running Away From The Trashed Psyche

I don’t suffer from the brilliant people’s writer’s block.

I get these swarms of self-hatred that swamp me and create an inactive Tonka toy, ready to rust and to be kicked.

Kicked so there are dents that won’t be repaired ever and whose cracks will submit themselves to the onslaught of rust fueled by the beads of moisture tickling up from the Jersey Street sandbox that never had the privilege of sun.

The loneliness in the dirty sand.

Writing is my therapy, but fear dunks my horrible lungs – What a silly fool.

A toad who can’t stand water.

I’d laugh, but I’m sick of being sick.

Exercise is therapy also, but do I use it?

I know myself as a bucket of shit, pardon the phrase.

Meditation, yes, you have it – therapeutic, but the good people, the beautiful people, the loving people suggest 20 minutes, and my storms conquer me and my mind will not crawl in the cotton for longer than three and a half minutes, five when stretched to my maximum after a long, tortuous day, spent as a salmon in a brown pond with no outlets.

Today at lunch, I saw three people in a continuous slideshow of three side by side by side events.

For a flash, I think I can write, but it lasts only seconds.

At the end of my drinking career, I hated being drunk for almost every moment of the ten to twelve hours per night, Every Night, but there were still those few seconds of each night that crawled gently around my collar and that felt okay like a smooth hug from someone who can save you, that felt like a solution to all of my problems.

I perpetuated the myth of solution into dark ages because I hated being sober so very strongly.

Now, I like my sobriety, but the solution is spoiled milk and miles away on a dry highway below sea level, and I can’t write a silly, shitty little poem about three humans who arrived in three sudden scenes, like flashes from god.

A gift smashes my brain with light and I can’t speak.

For a moment, I knew I could scream the loudest beauty at the walls of the world, but my brain locks as a broken chain on a bicycle and it hates me.

Yes, writing is therapeutic, so I did this little essay. I share it with you because I must let it go.

Tomorrow, I will write a poem.

It will be brilliant
and I won’t
throw it away
because right
when it is complete,
I’ll shut off my brain,
and I’ll sit still,
trying not to worry about how
I seem to be a black hole
in this lifetime, hanging
on those thin threads
that won’t leave
the new pants
I had worn into
the battles
of the Monday workplace.

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NaNo Etude 6 – Essay Time, Ha Ha

Today, all of the goo came pouring down through the top of my head. It became friendly with my throat. These moments when the dust floats off the blinds, the ear buds are blasting my brain, and my brain goes away. Far away. I want to write words that make people feel the way I feel when I hear my favorite music. This is what I want, keep wanting, want more than anything, and if I found it, I’d quit everything else and write, write, write for the rest of my days.

Stupid ass.

Words are limited, intentionally limited. Words aren’t meant to represent the spiritual. They can only point to the spiritual, and if you asked me to point to something spiritual, I would look at you with screwed-up eyebrows.

My hero said that fiction should be about what it’s like to fucking live. I love that inclination, especially for the 21st Century, but I will never be capable of doing what he did. Should I try? I suppose. It gives me a sense of purpose, but that goo tells me that I’m fooling myself. I’ve been fooling myself for decades. I feel as though I can do it, but it won’t come out. It’s stuck in the goo, the green goo of a stupid ass.


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NaNo Etude 5 – It Ended Long, Long Ago

One day Freddy realized that his entire unconscious undertow was against the world, and he thought, yes, all the way against the world. If Freddy thought too long and hard about his unconscious desires and judgments, he would need to be locked up, but he couldn’t stop. A chocolate creme Oreo and he was never going to stop now.

The water under the sharp white bridge was entirely calm even when people dove into it.

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NaNo Etude 4 – Dark, She Is

Today, the movement of people around me, all around me while I sat on my stone wall, they were swimming in a tidy movement more like dance than participating in false comforts of commodities.

She was there, over in the corner of the park, pacing the bricks like she did yesterday, speaking into her cell phone, doing most of the speaking, shaking her hair that seemed to be what one would call bunned-up, but she was dark. I could pierce through to a determined kindness and a patience, a gentle warmth, but it was covered in these gray shadows that she was crafting all around herself.

Her purse, same as yesterday, massive black leather thing, bigger than a backpack. She smoked and she was smoking with stressful mannerisms but she had magnificent control. The traffic was pushed to the opposite side of the street from her, in a curving motion, and it was entrancing to me, this power.

I continued reading my book. One paragraph was magnificent, making me feel as though my reading it was creating a new life for me, a new universe.

She floated across the street inside of a massive treaty of care, right in the middle of the block but all of the traffic had lifted and there were only silent, parked cars.
She continued her conversation. All of those energetic people walking on her side of the street slowed down as they neared her as if a magnet was preventing their approach rather than drawing them in, but as it presented its resistance, it made them absorb the peace of her facial turns, she still talking on the phone, her face warming and charging the air with silky fur.

I read my paragraph again, wanting my new universe more than ever, and I looked up, and she was gone, gone, gone. All the way gone. The furious commerce was back, grotesque at full speed. I rested my skull inside the palm of my left hand, let my book fall to the brick and contemplated what tomorrow might bring.



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NaNo Etude 3 – Bright North and Big Decisions

The building was not so overwhelming, maybe 25 stories, but it was all gold glass, and as I sat on the rock wall in the shade of the monstrous black glass building, perhaps 65 stories, the reflected sunlight from the bronzish goldish windows on the statuary guard to the north started to warm my brain. It’s unusual not being able to look North because of the bright. All of the action was North, but I bowed my head and thought about big decisions, the decisions you make when you are sure they will change your life. When my brain warms, I want to make big decisions.

During the last several years, the only big decisions I made were about how to kill myself. However, I am alive, so more precisely, the decisions were about whether or not I wanted to suffer and try to pray my way through or if I simply wanted it all to end. In the older days, a third option was to get smashed, which usually nullified the first two options within an hour or so, but I’ve exceeded my usage of that option, and death is much preferable to slow, miserable, alcoholic death.

Today, I didn’t feel like making decisions, and that brought about a pleasing feeling as I watched some very beautiful people traverse the sidewalks and I wondered if I’d consumed too much starch for lunch.

It tickles me to think about how praying my way through has occurred so many times that I almost believe that any bad thing will always pass. Perhaps not odd to you, but when I am in severe despair, I am always convinced that it will never end unless I end my life, but now, there is a different part of me which tells the other that he’s lying, that it will pass. It intrigues me that everything passes, and that knowledge seems to persuade me that I should never be joyful because the bombastic fear that the joy will end overshadows the joy itself, just like the gold windows shag my northern view of all of the action and all of the other beautiful people.


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NaNo Etude 2 – She Is Out; She Is Out of Control

She gave him up.

–The bath water might be too hot and I wouldn’t know, and he might drown but he runs and walks but he’s only two and he might drown.

She wants to be steady and she wants him back, but all she can do is see us slobs.

–I left the grilled cheese on the stove, but at some point I turned it off. I don’t know when I did that but I turned it off, and what if I didn’t turn it off.

We hope she keeps talking to us slobs and she can have him back after she’s spoken with us slobs long enough and has a new-found steadiness from the ultimate of surrenders.

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My Bruised Soul Settling Gently In My Shoes

A slow walk preceded my surrender. It was not a good surrender. It was not smooth.

There was a heavy gas full of sludge from the old steel pipes and it wilted my innards.

I sat down. I watched my empty plate, wondering why the surrender was so slow. I sat back in my chair and I felt my insides dripping into my tennis shoes. I picked up a blue, plastic cup, needing to drink slowly because my hand was shaking.

I want to be worthy of my sufferings, but I have no self-worth despite a sharp attempt at a positive self-awareness.

I was kicked a lot today, just like that poor frightened dog that I met at the shelter. Getting kicked should not diminish my value, but that is what I’ve witnessed, and my shoes were filled with the rotten innards, the distasteful, diseased cells of a madman.

I’m desperate to rise above this asinine victimhood, to have meaning in positive contribution to a good thing somewhere in my world, but I sit here without initiative, without the will to move.



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