Caged

Caged I was up all night and well into the morning trying to write, so of course I couldn’t sleep after. The sun was already up which never makes it easy even with the blinds closed. I kept tossing and turning while feeling depressed and delirious. The sun was creeping desperately through the cracks, so I drew back the blinds and allowed the light to fill the room. My lack of sleep wasn’t the sun’s fault, so why should it be punished? I laid there looking out the window at the house across the street. A dog lives in the front yard of this house. Not the same house where the gang members were evicted, the one right next-door. It’s a mustard colored building with chipped paint and a brick porch. That dog was the first life that greeted me here on Walton Street. That first night, I was alarmed by the vicious sounds of barking as I unexpectedly locked eyes with it right after getting out of my car. He scared the living shit out of me, which is probably why I decided to stay and rent the room. All my fear was gone. As time went by living at this house in the ghetto, I became grateful for the dog. His voice became a constant alert that a stranger was out there on our sidewalks. A sound that initially seemed vicious, somehow became comforting. I sat there this morning staring at the dog, caged behind a fence in […]

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Angels & Deviled Eggs

 Angels & Deviled Eggs It was Memorial Day and I was at the Book Exchange again. I spent the entirety of Sunday sitting in this same spot, writing in my red composition notebook for four hours. One of the main reasons I came here to Asheville was to write, so at first it didn’t feel wrong. I just moved into a room at 11 Walton Street on Saturday morning, so sitting there amongst the book shelves on Sunday felt good. I didn’t force myself to poeticize every word, I just wrote. Then there I was again on Memorial Day, flicking the same pen while rubbing at my eyes. I came here to write, I thought. Why can’t I do it? The way I did it yesterday. I looked beyond the book shelves, squinting through their cracks. I couldn’t make out a specific image, all I saw was a bright blinding light. That’s the sun. It’s Memorial Day, the sun is shining and I’m in North Carolina. I need to be out there. It would be an insult if I sat here staring through a shelf. So I left the Book Exchange and went walking. Downtown was just the way I remembered it from my visit in November, only now there was sun and now there was time. I passed a man playing trumpet on the corner of Wall Street. I remember back in November this same man directed me toward a bar I was trying to find late one night. […]

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An Unfinished Story-Michael Tree

An Unfinished Story-Michael Tree   “Also, pay attention to your dreams within the next couple of days.” My roommate instructed after the Full Moon Ritual. I liked the sound of that. I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping. This could give it a purpose. Last night I dreamt of Ryan on a surf board, paddling out to conquer the ocean’s rage. It seemed like some sort of competition, because I was just beyond the shoreline with my arms around my knees while I sat there in the sand watching. Dreaming of Ryan isn’t out of the ordinary. I have dreamt of him many times before. I’m always rescuing him from something, which is understandable–he’s my baby brother. If I’m not trying to save the world from zombies, I’m trying to save my brother in the dreamworld. Those are the only heroic ones I’ve had. Or remember having. I was sitting there on a beach somewhere, and I felt nervous. Those waves are too big, he’s going to get hurt. *** Michael Tree is making far too much noise right now. Doesn’t he understand the rest of us are in our rooms for a reason? We’re trying to focus. We’re trying to make art. Well, Mitch and Cara are making art, but all I’m trying to do is sort through my feelings without punching a wall. That doesn’t sound like an art form, but when you think about the effort and patience needed to practice such a task, it most definitely […]

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Just the Tip

Just the Tip   I walked inside and found Michael Tree sitting naked on the toilet in the dark with candles lit. Christ, I just had an absurd night and now I’m about to walk in on this motherfucker masturbating. Or doing some weird Ashevillian witchcraft meditation. The world won’t let me rest. I slowly tip-toed toward the hallway attempting to sneak into my bedroom. He must have heard the front door shut, because when I looked up again he was staring directly at me in between groans. “Take me to the hospital, I had bad milk.” That’s when I noticed a trashcan filled with vomit on the bathroom floor. “Okay man, sure. But wait. Try a gatorade first. And bad milk? Are you sure you aren’t drunk?” I was drunk and I was sure. Drunker than I’d been in a while. Drunk enough to wind up in a vault somewhere Downtown with my egg-shaker and a nice boy who I didn’t bother warning about my fickle heart. I felt like I was just getting back from Shoprite Bar in Jersey. Nothing gets me drunker than Shoprite Bar. “And I ate some mushrooms. They might have been bad too.” “I KNEW it. This organic food you are always raving about must be just as poisonous as everything else. Or maybe it has something to do with all of the flies laying babies on the food left in the kitchen.” “No. Psychedelic mushrooms.” He continued to throw up into the bucket. […]

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Lost in a School of Swamp Fish

Lost in a School of Swamp Fish “Eleven is the number we need to remember, in case anyone is wondering.” Simon said after doing a head count on a street corner somewhere in Brooklyn. I glanced over at Mark and shrugged my shoulders before mouthing the words, “What the fuck is going on?” He didn’t have any idea either, which almost made me feel comfortable about the situation. Levon was somewhere in the middle of the group, wearing a tie-dye shirt and mud splattered pants. He also had four medals draped over his neck that jingled when he performed certain movements. Every time the medals clanged together, I felt my purse and checked for my tambourine. It wasn’t there. I watched Simon float across the sidewalk with his long, curly hair still dripping wet. “Who takes a shower before a paint party?” I remember someone laughing before we left the apartment. He didn’t care. Simon didn’t seem like the type that is bothered by much of anything. On the subway earlier, he was discussing potential super powers. He began speaking passionately about freezing time during a cum shot, and failed to notice how uncomfortable it was making the blonde lady sitting to his right. After rolling her eyes in disgust, she decided to find a seat elsewhere. Simon didn’t notice. This was his world. The opinion of outsiders was insignificant. Billy, who is Levon’s friend from home, also the reason we were on our way to a Swamp Party, ordered […]

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Blood and Bukowski

Blood and Bukowski   I felt the lids of my eyes start to swell as I reached back into the cab and grabbed the three crumpled dollar bills my drunken friend left behind. The ride was already paid for, but she felt it necessary to throw more torn currency against the leather seat while we stumbled onto the pavement. Clutching her arm, I did my best in navigating us through the entrance of “The Yotel”. It was dark here too, almost as dark as the bar had been, only rather than a crowd of drunken countenances, neon lights flashed across my vision and made the room glow in angry shades of violet. I attempted to choke down my tears for the moment, but it’s nearly impossible to swallow such feelings when your throat is the heart’s closest neighbor. So there we were drunk, in the middle of an enraged purple room, and I was trying to stop crying while my friend was trying to remember how to walk. One of the hotel attendants, a short man wearing designer glasses and an unkempt beard, immediately noticed our state of belligerence. He silently motioned with a head nod to a row of computer screens. I almost found this comical even through my misery because his beard protruded off his face like a curly arrow as he nodded. This was where we were supposed to check-in. I should have known. It is 2014 after all, and we were standing in the middle of […]

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The Rain

Is it strange that after such a brutal winter, I was more excited to feel the rain today than I was to see the sun yesterday? I suppose I felt the sun a bit too and genuinely appreciated the warmth it finally had to offer, but there is something different about the way rain makes me feel. Maybe it’s because when the rain touches you, if you’re paying proper attention, you can actually see it moving on your skin. And if you take a moment to outstretch your palm and really look, each drop curves differently as it travels across the lines of your hand. You don’t see that with UV rays or even snowflakes. Snowflakes do possess a certain individuality in each of their shapes, I suppose. Not all of them are exactly alike as they fall, but most have a similar sort of geometry. And then when they float onto your nose-or palm, they vanish almost immediately. They all vanish the same way too, turning into vague traces of water-then nothing. The wet spots that snowflakes leave behind cannot be compared to the wetness of rain. Unlike snowflakes, raindrops do not possess any individuality in their shapes as they fall. But when they land, and you stick your palm out and really look, rain travels in unpredictable direction, as it trails across your palm making patterns that cannot be mimicked by drops that came first or the drops that will come after. Rain creates- really begins to CREATE […]

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On Traffic Jams

Yesterday I was stuck in traffic for two hours in Pennsylvania. At first it wasn’t so bad because I had a box full of cereal bars and an awesome CD I found in my center console that Matt K made me a while back. After the first half hour, I started to get a little anxious because it became apparent that this wasn’t a minor “rubber necking” matter and I had to urinate, or I should say spike a serious piss. Another half hour passed, and the songs on the CD no longer cheered me up. I became mad at every lyric blaring from my speakers as if those talented poetic souls were the ones that intentionally filled my bladder during the traffic jam from hell. I looked to my left, an old married couple looked at me with the same discomfort and I mouthed to them, “I have to pee.” They laughed and nodded enthusiastically which made me laugh in return and gave me the courage I needed. So I sat there, and as the left lane inched by and the married couple disappeared, an Asian man was now next to me. I sat there as I peed in a water bottle and smiled at him. He smiled back clueless, and waved. Moral of the story and a life lesson I think we all need to come to terms with: Sometimes when people are smiling at you, they really could just be pissing.

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Glass Containing Glass

My mother collects washed glass. I’m staring at a vase full of it this very moment. Glass containing glass. I’m going to get up off my ass and go grab a handful. It’s been a while since I’ve touched such an object. It’s strange really. The multi-colored rocks that these pieces of glass have turned into are powdered with whatever healing powers the ocean might possess. I can’t help but think about the origin of each individual shard. I wonder how many of them were the result of someone’s anger. Turning these pieces over in my hands, I picture a person overwhelmed with a rage brought on by unrequited love violently tossing the remains of his or her alcohol hopelessly into the sea. I can see these glass bottles- the brown, gray, blue, green, glass bottles- drowning beneath the current and shattering helplessly without choice. It’s strange really. Perhaps the sea recognized the innocence of these objects, and for this reason gave them the gift of rebirth. A new beginning, if you will. A fresh start, powdered with a healing sort of beauty that only the most open minded of people-like my mother-would appreciate. Glass containing glass: for the viewing pleasures of spectators, seems to be a better fate than others.  

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Eight Rings of Regretful Truth (When Nobody’s Watching)

The other night, or I should say early morning, I was sprawled out on my couch randomly surfing the web when I came across a writing contest that sparked my interest. Usually, it takes a lot for my mind to be entertained during the episodes of insomnia that I often experience, so the extent of this interest was in fact genuine. The contest was to write in 50 words or less something that the given writing prompt might inspire. The prompt read: “When nobody’s watching…” Initially, I started thinking of typical life situations that might illustrate this description such as masterbation, nose picking, things people do in the bathroom, etc… Each of those ideas bored me to tears so I wrote the following instead.                                                       Eight Rings of Regretful Truth (When Nobody’s Watching) Drunk, driven by the blue of dawn- hands shaking again His mind, a mess of colliding images- recreates memories of fallen men. And yet Sea still outstretches simultaneously with Sky competing for Sun’s affection! Bells ring eight times, below new men scurry- while he watches his brass reflection.

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