Stolen Wallpaper

Words but a whisper, deafness a shout

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Location: Zeeland, Michigan, United States

Hi. I wish I had a job selling squirrels. They're so furry, and give you toothy grins. Unless they're rabid, in which case they will eat your face off and then find the rest of your family. That's not so good, I guess.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Empty Garden

I rushed gratefully into your grownup embrace
Hoping to use you to mature myself
But I was not cautious, not considerate, not cool
Telling myself it was a friendship, for both of us
Not letting myself see how you were being lacerated
By the serrated edges of my desperate indifference
I who had been destroyed then swung the crane around
And took out an edifice that was not my own
Then feebly fumbling among the bricks, counting them
Insisting you can't be damaged, they're all still here
They land on my feet and I raise an umbrella
You gave of yourself, and I grinned and said 'thanks'
But there was nothing inside me to give back
And your veins burst in the vacuum
I am no longer so vain as to think I was your world
But I took the garden you gave me and sowed it with salt

Forgive me, someday, if you can

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Now We Lay Our Burden Down

He knelt by his dying grandmother's bedside, holding her hand, surrounded by his mother's family. It was Thanksgiving, and she was dying, today. A buffet had been laid out on his aunt's kitchen table; people were picking at desultorily over the course of the day, no one really too keen on chowing down. This was the last time the entire family would ever be in one room. After she died, arguments over rights and responsibilities, possessions and debts, would utterly destroy what was left of this family, leaving it thinly scattered and utterly estranged. His aunt and uncle, without his grandmother's income, could no longer live the lifestyle to which they'd become accustomed, and this grand old house would be sold. Much later, his aunt and uncle would semi-kidnap his sister: but that was another story for another day.

On this day, this sad day, they gathered around, remembering the good times aloud, remembering the bad times inwardly: for there had been many of each. Grandmother had been a mean drunk for many years. She and his grandfather had made and lost a couple of fortunes; he'd died twenty years earlier of a pickled heart. She could be sour and petty, but she could be sly and merry too. Now, he took his turn at her bedside, saying his goodbyes, clasping her hand gently. She had her eyes mostly closed, as if the energy it would take to open them would rob power from her faculties as she marshalled them one last time to say goodbye to everyone. She weakly turned his hand over, and stroked the skin of his palm. "You have such soft hands," she murmured.

"Thank you, Grandma." Trying so hard not to cry.

"That's because you never DO anything, you lazy fuck."

The room, crowded with her children and grandchildren and great-children, exploded with laughter. It lasted a good ten or fifteen minutes.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Weather Ball Green, No Changes Foreseen

the whole house shakes when I do laundry
It rolls to one side, then the other, with each kick of the spin cycle
I'm not sure if the hot water is working
The kitchen sink leaks underneath
I forgot to empty the bucket underneath last month and it overflowed all over the floor
sinking in near despair to the seventies linoleum, mopping and cursing those years
when I roamed far and near, fill 'er up with the magic card, damn the torpedoes
Snap a photo, move on, change the oil, kick the tires
And now that I need to roll someone's taken the wheels off my car
Leaving me disconsolate in the driveway, watching the streetlamp flicker and sputter with indecision
I want, I want, I want, but to have, that would take change
And change is the thing I have always fought like a cornered wolverine
Pretty hard to leap when you've forgotten where your feet are
But if I could move, you would be the destination