Only in dreams

I have never seen teardrops

that haunted a troubled mind.

As deeply as the ones she cried

the night she left love behind.

 

I have never felt loneliness

as vivid as that night.

When she built her wall and closed her mind

driving love from her sight.

 

Then I found another way

to hold her in my heart.

My dreams are my very own.

In them we never part.

 

The dreams are warm and tender

as I look into her face.

We hold each other tightly,

in this, our private place.

 

The night is always welcome.

That’s when she comes to me.

Then we join our souls together.

In dreams, our spirits are free.

 

The darkness is my friend

and I bid it, forever stay.

It’s the only time I feel her love

and the night never sends her away.

 

 

By Gary William Ramsey

 

Calle De Vida (Street of Life)

You can hear the buzzing from a hundred yards, like a lawn mower but this is poor Southern California, so no one has a lawn to mow, just rocks and concrete.  Rows of houses look exactly the same.  This neighborhood could look middle class, except for the lack of grassy lawn where the wasting waterers claim their class. The closer you get to the border, the poorer and browner it gets, “the inner city” on the city’s edge.  The poor whites live tucked away on streets like this, hiding inside a decaying façade of financial stability.

The façade of our house is broken open by the buzzing.  It sounds like the buzzing of an air conditioning system.  As you get closer it is clear this buzzing is alive.  Bees are buzzing in and out of the hive that hangs over our front door.  We leave it open because, who is going to break into a house buzzing with bees?  They are our own private security system.  They lived here before us and will after us.  We take a deep breath and run.  Surprisingly none of us have ever been stung.

I have no idea how old our two housemates are. When you are a child, everyone seems old.  Tim is a grizzled white man with rumpled clothes and the stench of stale alcohol and houselessness.  He drinks orange juice every morning, mixed with vodka.  Tim has a very cool car; a black mustang with black interior.  It is uncomfortable because of the hard rubber seats baking with no air conditioning in the inland heat. He is always busy doing nothing; standing close when I watch television like some sort of pigeon waiting for me to drop crusts.  I watch a lot of television while Mommy is out.  It is hard for me to keep track of when she has a job and when she doesn’t.  They run like water through a dam abandoned by the beavers. Continue reading “Calle De Vida (Street of Life)”

60s predictions for our 2020s

(The following is an excerpt from a longer work titled: My Diary of Lucid Dreams and Recollections.)

 

In 1965 I produced my best high school term paper on the emerging topic of population growth. And though I was reaching for greater independence, I found myself still relying on some help from both parents as I was expanding my research and writing techniques.  I concluded with a dark and brooding Malthusian prediction about the future we now face.

My father provided copies of Scientific American journals on the topic of population growth. He taught me how to chart my population data points extending from a distant past and into the 1960s.  And he showed me how to connect the various dots on my chart using a drafting tool known as a French Curve. Then, we extended the data line to the right for 50 years into the future—the one we live in today. My mother did an excellent job editing and polishing the paper. Continue reading “60s predictions for our 2020s”

Off the record

“I’m trying to think, don’t confuse me with facts.”
― Plato

 

He was the Sun. She was the Moon.

“How’s it hanging, bae? Let’s chill at noon!”

“I’m good, but thanks for asking. And, hey! You ‘hot!

Wouldja come over to land at my spot?”

So drop-dead gorgeous did she seem to him first!

Such a lit Moon was she that he quenched all his thirst.

Not only was gentle the Sun but also damn sweet.

There you go! A day and night meet!

Curves of the Moon would enchant with the shape;

rays of the Sun kept embracing with grace.

Both were jonesing to find ‘comfort zone

having being jeopardized by the roam.

Where was it ‘they were planning to go?

Where eye-catching great lakes shimmer and glow!

So they were! Presumably, dashing in ‘hot, steamy way? Continue reading “Off the record”

Bookworm

Yes it’s a book.

Books are where I live.

I have digs within the covers.

And plenty of words to feed on.

 

Books are to be happy in.

To be moved by.

Even when I leave a book.

I still dwell in what I’ve read.

 

A man can never

have enough books.

Otherwise, he’ll think

he has everything already.

 

 

By John Grey

 

Knowing Simone

(The following is an excerpt from a longer work.)

 

Chapter One

 

‘All Saints Day,’ said Papa, ‘I’m staying indoors.’

‘But why?’ I said.

‘Because it’s cold outside, and if I see Marseille’s miserable faces, my day will be ruined.’

I wish I had stayed indoors as well. Only a few minutes from home, under a street lantern, a shadowy figure looked at me and said, ‘You!’

Taking it as a bad omen, I turned and ran, dashing over the cobblestones into a dim lane. As the city’s grimy buildings bore down on me, the figure behind hurried around the corner and kept coming. The lane’s urine odour and horse manure usually defeated the authorities but not this one.

‘Stop,’ he yelled.

Damn him, I thought, his boots even louder than mine. If he insisted on chasing me down back streets, I knew a few more that would test his resolve. No others joined the chase so what chance did he have?

I’ll outrun him, and what is more take him into uncharted lanes where the law dare not step. I have friends near though I won’t endanger them. Continue reading “Knowing Simone”

The complex

A series of negative thoughts she hangs onto. One is let go of and replaced by another: people cluttered self-esteem; a christian chain expecting admiration; a diabolical need linked to the outside world intrinsically operating with the inner day of a cockroach nation.

The roach in one crevice creating the next and the next; they cannot be neutralized; it is the same thought pattern masked.

A high pitch bile oozes in and out of her ears starting to build and live under her skin while cleaning excrement the complex is weaving. Be it a worry, an errand, or an itch. It is a calcified reminder prevailing; a leaf that drops to remind her they are only a vessel simulating the psychosomatic energy trapped in the unit.

Status quo’s and tables repeating beliefs through the archives casting back meetings with others that always seem to involve explanation. Everywhere she goes there is some type of unwelcome ootheca within.

As she moves to the motion of fall, she lets loose commemorating the progress she has made without a fly swat or dalliance to subdue the wasp.

There is a constellation shifting, working out the source, syncopating, tracking tissue, compelling the cyst to also manifest in another and another. For when the cockroaches continue to crawl on the invisible line, we call hers, his and mine it breeds; cycling like a wheel turning in direct reproach of ages involved in opposition…I am right and you are wrong.

Perfection only subsists within the aria.

Where there is one there are thousands more.

I feel the roach around the corner now, I sense it.

A crunch and ooze. This is where they come to die.

 

 

By Adrian Voss

 

The brass ring

(The following is an excerpt from a longer work.)

Chapter One

Salamanca, Spain, Late September

In the breaking day, a sturdy, blond man left the shadows of the city’s walls, stepping through the jagged bars of sunlight that fell across the stone arches and medieval turrets of the Plaza Mayor. He found a seat and ordered breakfast at an open-air pasteleria at the edge of the square. Then, dipping a pastry in his café-con-leche, he relived the visions that had tortured his mind for months—villages blown to rubble, panicked mothers robbed of their sons, ashen corpses in the fire-smoke of war—grisly scenes that haunted him like a residue of human sin.

In the small hours, though, with sleep gone for good, another image had come, a single body in a room smeared with blood, a nightmare from the worst time of his grief. His face hardened at the image, but he tried, as he had a thousand times, to lift himself from the trough of sadness and loss. For years Corlett had run from the stain of Maya’s death, but now, planning the last leg of his journey home, he felt his time—the time to heal—was finally near. His regrets were receding. Memories of her kisses, of days and nights together, of wine and laughter, had begun to expel the ugliness that had once clung to him like stinking rags. Continue reading “The brass ring”

Numbers

In the hospital Critical Care Unit my drugged grandmother

lay repeating these facts:

her name, maiden & married,

her husband’s, deceased,

& the various addresses where they both

once lived. Not only that,

but bank,, social security & telephone digits.

Not only that, but safe codes

& dates of anniversaries, of births.

 

Oh operator, plug in:

memory’s intravenous is running around circuits,

this shorting out overload.

 

Sorting through calendars, road routes,

the debits & credits of doors, an assemblage

changing with income, habits, years —–

Is there some great rank & file

to which we belong?

Where is the document, the hall of records,

a sort of mantra, that corner & street? Continue reading “Numbers”