Friday, June 21, 2013

It Was In The Water

It Was In The Water
By Douglas Strong

Quarantine rose with the rows,
piled in ditches and the backs of trucks,
asleep behind hospitals and pews.

Her hand was a pebble in mine as we chose our way,
under barricaded bridges and scarred streets

--weren’t home when we first heard the news--
anchors report the new flu, and
the report of gunsmoke into crowds whose
only crime was not want but need.
For shots ran dry as the vaccines pumped
clean; not clean like an operating room but clean

as a life reamed from the corpse.

Smoke like souls wound veils while wind
picked muddy paper and leafy plastic bags up
in spirals like eddies of a river
from the street. I pushed her behind me
so that she wouldn’t see the skinny pale vagrant prostrate,
arms stretched stiff crucifixion wide,

pointed towards us from the sidewalk.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Papers Found While Re-flooring The Living Room

our brave soldier
was the last
over the fence; the rusted wire
cat scratched through her fatigues,
and she died two weeks later,
with an arched back like rigor mortis
in a motorless parking lot
i could see hollow eyes watching us as we ran from the fence,
slender tendon fingers entwined in the chain links
our smiling neighbor
was stealing food
and caught a bug; a spider
bite racing black up his veins,
and he died spare minutes later,
with eyes frosted mustard gas yellow
in a rusted red, shallow playground
i could see hollow eyes watching us from the schoolhouse windows,
two emaciated silhouettes illuminated by the orange evening sun
our quiet priest
was the first
to be strangled; bent twig fingers
emerging from the dark behind him,
and he died as we ran,
with a croaking sound
in a smoking, shrouded parish
i could see hollow eyes watching us when i locked the front door
moonlight incandescent off the ringed slickness inside their vacant sockets
my boy
i can see hollow eyes atop slender figures watching me now
three of them are tall and one of them is small
am alone
in this house; no one to
sit next to or talk to or hold,
and i think i am done,
even as i write
in an isolated house
i can hear windy whispers shadowing me now
promising that they’ll take me in if i’m feeling lonely

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

[rough stuff] Burial Moon

Here is a little bit of something I just wrote, and did a quick edit of. I told Kevin about a new writing technique I've been trying and while I like the results, I would like to hear what you guys think of it. Is it more interesting than the way I'd been writing before? Worse?

Uhm, anyway, here it is.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Rain bothered.

Rain bothered. Jack didn’t think rain served any other purpose nearly as well as it served to annoy. Rain rivered down the glass of his windshield, smearing the lights of the lampposts and the passing orange tail lights floating by his car. The radio blared, static and fuzz drowning Cobain’s pained crooning.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Phrenia, Bilateralis, Chapter Four

Her eyes opened. Sunlight streamed in through the window. She slid off the bed to her feet, stood, and stretched. It had been a dreamless sleep. Fortunately so, she thought. What if she had dreamt of the real world?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Old Oak Tree We Never Sat Under

phone calls when all was dark outside.
your voice was soft; but not a whisper.
this; when the last thing i thought i could be
was not alone.

smile and widening eyes and
excited pronouncement of my name.
sweatshirt armored arms wrapping
around me.

we talked for miles on cracked concrete,
on the shoulder of the road that split
my second home in two. tell me if
you remember too.

if you do,

look for me
under the eaves
of the leaves
of the old oak tree
we never sat under.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Twisted Strings, Tendons Red, and Heavy Memory

A great burlap sack, hanging on the edge.
Held up by a few pieces of string,
I think it will rip. What’s in there? Memories
of autumn yellow, orange, and red;
the green leaves of summer brown and dry
on the ground. But it did fall, a torrent

of forgotten rotten apple cores, a torrent
letting loose all over my head. Sharp edges
worked through and sawed at the shrink wrap. Dry,
brittle from the heat, it gave way. I found strings,
tying together past and future, known and unknown, a red
knot of tendons in the present. I caught memories.

I lied. It wasn’t on a pallet at the depot, I found the memories
locked away in her journal. My knife was fingers, to torrent
her scrawled thoughts into my mind, word by word, reddened
faces dampened with tears, given willingly. I rubbed the edge
of the pages with my finger until I cut them, high strung
on emotion. I rubbed blood wherever my name appeared and watched it dry.

I can’t easily explain my madness, why I prefer my cereal dry.
Locked in her diary was where she kept her memories.
Mine stewed at the bottom of a well; bucket held by strings
too weak to hold on. I keep falling in; water washes me down in a torrent
like a spider down a drain or children caught in a river. On the edge,
looking down, is her. Eyes wide in horrified confusion. Red

is the color of blood, her and mine. Laceration is red.
Who killed the sun in my head? I did. She did. Do stars ever dry
out? Fry out? Die out? Could she or I? If I stand at the edge
of my grave, can I look down and see my body, memories
shrink wrapping my arms and legs together? I struggle to grasp this torrential
pain, inability to forfeit the road ahead to the road behind. Strung

together to where the minute hand has already been. Time the strings
that loop up under the sawdust smelling pallet. Red
hands, rough and calloused from lifting the past’s steel lockbox. I torrent
books and movies mostly, but music too. Old things, cobwebbed and dry
from years ago, still weigh down on my harddrive. They’re my memories,
unable to drift towards dark Elysium. Off the ocean’s edge.

Watch; the waterfall torrents along the edge,
over twisted strings like tendons red,
snapping dry when the water stops, from heavy memory.