There are days when the mere act of lifting a pen is torture. I’m divided between letting the words gnaw at my skin or the tears cloud my judgement. I’ve broken my pen three times today. Crumpled seven empty sheets of paper and two that have a few illegible sentences scratched on them. Its about the weather and I take it rather seriously.
I talk about melancholy annually showing up with rain, and today my friend cleared his throat as I talked about the writer. I said I was a character and he doubted my importance; we sat in silence and he said he had to be at a wake.
Is it odd that I thought it might be mine?
My fingertips kiss regret with every key they press on this noisy keyboard and I wish life was as easy to delete; change the mistakes you made and stroll among better decisions, but we’re stuck, living this life to its inevitable end, unchanged for the most part. There’s talk about destinies and making your own path as all the odds are stacked up against you and they say either way, you’ve got to adapt. I play the harp with bruises on my skin and the flute sings melodies, while knocking the wind from my lungs; we are meant to be alive, so lets hang from the edge of a cliff- There is no hope or maybe the end of the world.
We aught to have made records of those evenings -
Ash from cigarettes that never seems to fall
and the smoke weaving between piano keys
making smoother tones of the silken jazz -
Some cocktail finding its way from your lips
and the light falling around you
and shadows cast behind you
create the effect of an old photograph -
We aught to have taken photographs of those evenings -
Impossibilities of the ash and the way your lipstick
never leaves a mark
and how you meet my eyes each time i look at you
made a dancer of me too -
We aught to have danced more in those evenings
or whatever the time was -
It could have been noon outside
the inconsequence of it all, and yet
that bar now seems so small
I struggle to recall the shape of the stools
without you sat upon one -
I hardly remember the cost of a drink
without buying for two -
I beg to be reminded of the song we called our song
though it is so hard
without the records and the photographs and the dances
we never had the time for
I don’t want to be a writer today, yet I scratch this paper with my pen, for the sheer satisfaction of saying something. My voice lays with the roots of my aspirations; I have no will to put it back in place. Let the soil erode, if it will.
My limbs have no strength. There is no fight left in me today. No questions or explanations necessary, your word is as good as a command that I will not refuse. My head has fallen in my hands with defeat; I’m letting you win.
I want to die young today. A memory is all I can be, between all the expectations that line my shriveled skin. I am a minor detail in a book I’ve read today; easily forgettable. I ask you, do not forget me.
I’m sinking beneath my own weight. With my anchor broken, there’s nothing to keep me in place. I’m letting myself go. I cannot be saved.
Tomorrow will be another day. With the sun rising, I will shine in the glory of my survival. I will push through the waves that drown me. I will be the book with a million stories; I will fight. I will live among the decisions I have made and stick by them, but today, do not try to tie me down; I’m just some bird in the sky.
You bring hurricanes into existence on barren land and my skin feels the burn of sand seeping in. Filling the cracks, lining my rattling bones; these skeleton keys playing symphonies of all that was found in your wake.
Houses burnt down, ash between our nails- finding the last tree standing with its roots popping out like our veins; darling, I seek shelter in the eye of your storm as you tear my very core apart.
Floods between crumbling dunes, there’s nothing left to gather between you and I. There’s nothing left to hide.
Discussing age old theories
in abbreviated form,
the future speaks to us
in well thought out
line breaks as we
reminisce over a time
that taught us to
write drunk and edit sober.
3 am conversations turned into
intimate realizations as you
pace in a dark room
questioning your existence
and they said you need something
to knock you out, this thinking business
isn’t for you when you look at the world
through the bottom of your glass-
everything seems fake in a world made
from liquid words while you swim in a pool
of bile; it only leads to heart burn
and you’re the kind of undecided verse,
swinging from field to field-
look up philosophy and define psychology
before you hop on to the next part of
your monkey bar.
Cornered and observed—
only by those you want to love, to hold,
where escape is a lethal plunge
into the unknown corners
of the heart—
Where the loneliness
of life, is imitating art.
Boxed in, restricted,
I’m far from reserved,
yes, I feel conflicted
about the oddities of flight—
the will to run has been stripped
of its influence over me.
Yet I cannot bear the sight
of my own skin, I’m a body without wings,
a sky without movement, a still-frame,
a muddied thought trapped in between
the layers of hurt, caught in the wind
with no place to go, so is this what it
means to be cut loose—to be free.
Mason Rhett Ford © 2014
Our unwillingness to retire
for the evening as the ice in our
glasses conversed with the crickets-
the trees began to light up once again
as the summer faded.
We were always found in blue-green mist
drinking to the uncertainly of things as the
books we read from, collapsed on themselves;
and so did we, between the light brownish leaves.
We didn’t know. We didn’t know it was time to leave.
Your window lead to ledge, wide enough for us to sit, without dangling our feet in mid air and the grass underneath seemed inviting. Your room had a warmth I’d like to feel in my bones; unfamiliar, but it felt like home and once he said, I was winter. We were both rattling teeth searching for someone to hold us and I’ve been too afraid of being cold since then.
Even in my dream I’m afraid of extending my hands towards you and the butterflies in my stomach want me to jump off; they’re certain I’ll fly. But what about the evenings we could spend tracing the veins visible under our skin? What about the things we could say to each other then?
I’m torn between jumping and being caught, while you don’t even know that I want you to be the one to catch me and the one who lets me go.
- I’ll be falling either way.
Maybe this is our problem. We take things too personally. Like the sky is our own personal back yard and we planted flowers through it; the stars. The moon is a scarecrow we built to keep the birds away, but now we’ve begun to find warmth in his eyes. We’ve romanticized the idea of being made of stardust and that our lovers crevices store the universe. “Her freckles align like my favorite constellation”, said the writer or his main character. Maybe we forgot that the sky is never the same, cloudy in one part of the world and clear in the other. The sun shining brightly, while somewhere else, the softness of the night cradles the trees. Maybe we forgot that the sky belongs to no one.
- Why do we question the inevitability of everything ending when we know, it will in the end?
One day we’re a box of fireworks that cannot contain itself and the sky is sinking to the ground. You look at me, like I’m a star and for once compliments don’t sound like hesitation. There’s no clearing of throats and accidental touches; I walk towards the edge.
I take off for the moon and half way across my flight, I realize that the flame barely caught on and you’re too busy picking flowers at midnight. There’s too many clouds to hide under and there’s a possibility that you’re not even looking.
- I’m floating in mid air and neither the ground or the sky seem like a viable destination.
Prayed myself kneeless
and in silent meetings
made applause for
a speaker who never
the deeds that earn me
and the sins
I need hearing for -
myself damned -
Ships have rarely
fared so far
the sails by which
have been set backwards
on the boon -
These planks here
not crosses but no less
a perilous way
to prop oneself up with -
A crucifix -
I wager that
a man made kneeless
is as good and righteous
as a man at sea
and with as much of a chance
of a savior
sailing out to save him