Saturday, August 30, 2014

Chicagospell (part 3 1/2)

Jesse S. Mitchell

part 3 here

As they walk down the aisle, shimmering-appearing next to them, on the right and on the left, transparent images of people start to appear.  Charlie looks over at them, holographic ghosts, automatons moving stiffly. Every set of thin, translucent eyeballs staring back at him and the cigar man as they pass.
As they walk down the aisle, shimmering-appearing next to them, on the right and on the left, transparent images of people start to appear.  Charlie looks over at them, holographic ghosts, automatons moving stiffly. All of them dressed in rags and torn clothes, dirty faces, stained, cracked hands, a hundred years of sun ruined skin stretched tight across their faces. Every set of thin, translucent eyeballs staring back at him and the cigar man as they pass.
Charlie feels his skin goose pimple up, a frown comes across his face, creeped out.
He shakes his head.
“Look at these people.”  He blurts out.
The cigar smoking looks over his shoulder and shrugs.
“You see, I never wanted to be these people.  A herd of mediocrity and feebleness, a bunch of hog butchers and ditch diggers, sans-culottes.  And don’t think they don’t have a taste for blood.  Oh no, don’t ever fail to take these monsters seriously, they’ll gut you right open.  Yeah.  But, don’t think I don’t sympathize.  I have no love for their enemies…some of their enemies, the rich, the cowardly wealth-mongers, the thirsty beyond any satiation.  But also, they hate the talented, the gifted, the new, the novel.  Slit your throat for showing up any of their deficiencies.  I grew up in a trailer park.  I did.  I really did.  I know this life.  I know these people.  They will steal the blood from your veins, the copper from your wires, the breath from your life, diminish their own kind, too frightened to lash out at real villains, too confused to see real life.  Wife-beaters, child-abusers, time-wasters.  This place makes me sad, churches always do, churches, temples, mosques, jails, joke shops.”
Charlie runs his hands over the dark red-brown wood of the pews.  Smooth, takes his hand up and looks over his fingertips, they are clean, impeccable the care people take to care for their sacred places.
“If only everyone of us was considered so special, so sacred.  What if every moment of every life was held so holy.  What would be different?  What would be so safeguarded?  What if we could accept what we saw with our own eyes as being so remarkable as the mythical things dreamt of by others and then related to our young ears by means of poetry…and if not poetry than by guile?”
“A different world.” a uniformed man barely says.
“Ah! So you can speak.” Charlie shouts
“A different time.”
“Hmm.  And I suppose you will tell me something about faith, faith in man, and love, and beauty, and hope and all the rest.  But I wouldn‘t waste my breath, you know.  Not that I don‘t see the benefit in that whole ball of bullshit.  Give a person a light at the end of a tunnel and they will keep chugging on.  A little bit of hope for something better some far off maybe someday, and as the years go by, and pile up all skeletal and bleached, they will smile on and on, their little pitiful face turned towards the sun, the setting, always setting sun.  Heaven makes good slaves, peace and hope and wild stories of charity and compassion makes good slaves.  Something to work towards, something to look forward to, and then you don‘t notice the shit around your waist, the rope around your neck.  I can‘t see why people can‘t ever just see the world like the Vikings?  Those people had the right way of looking at things, everything was going to end eventually, it was all going to come crumbing down, the world was going to end and everything you ever knew or love was going to crumble with it.  Good was not going to win.  But, but that wasn’t going to be for some time, better get your livin’ in, get the good times now, and even heaven, if you make there, warrior or saint, even heaven was in danger of total collapse, best get it all in while you can.  Now, that is a healthy philosophy for life. ”
The ragged ghosts flicker faintly, static, broken-breath, like bad TV reception, they start to disappear leaving the inside of the cathedral empty and quiet.  Charlie’s footsteps echo, sound like bomb dropping, going off.  Startled by the new reverberation, he steps gingerly, trying to avoid the little explosions.
“Look, put your arms out.  You can feel it all around you.  We two, you and me, whoever you are, whatever you happen to look like when I look back up and see you, whatever vision, imaginary or hallucinatory, real  practical living seeing breathing whatever, just listen to me.  You and I, put your arms out next to mine, here we stand on the absolute edge of all creation.  Standing, like gritting teeth, clinched fists, bated breath, chest-deep on the very cusp of the penultimate crest, the highest water mark of the nearest everything, the top of the wave of time.  Here we are, in the actual present, real time, real life, we are here, now, right now.  But are we crashing forward?  Or are we ebbing away?  Coming in on the tide, frothy surf, or relaxing, recoiling back under the cold currents?  Folding back into all the ocean that has come before us, carried us here?”
Charlie stand still for a second or more, a slight sly smile on his face, his eyes closed, a serenity blooming over his face, happy with himself, with his questioning mind.  The look fades, his face melts back to a acerbic scowl.  He waves his hand in front of his face.
“But forget it, I’m an old man now or at least old enough to know better, know better.  Yes, know better, know that I roll away with the peaks and the troughs, the deep way down, the deep red earth.  Made from dirt, deposited on the shore, stood up, strong legs, lived a life…sort of, did my time, sun come bleach my bones, birds come pick my flesh, grow new, grow new.  Greek ironic punishments.  Humph, but that’s life, an ironic twist on a violent birth, a slow wither.”
“We go forward as far as we dare, at whatever speed we choose.”
“Do we?  You put this on me, then?  But what have I been saying?  That I even wished to go further?  No, if you had been listening this whole time, you’d know, I’ve been sounding the retreat for sometime now.  Going to get away, put in my feelers, and try to avoid the disturbing air, the breeze, the flow.  Be an internal creature from here on out, a turtle, a snail, deep inside my shell, tired of cherry, tired of rice, tired of this whole world.  That‘s Basho.  That‘s the true hermit call.”

Monday, August 25, 2014

(The Bee-Skin Flint/Homusubi) Jubilee

Jesse S. Mitchell

Izanagi & Izanami 

Coming over the mountains
The wild animals cross over into our blood stream
Spark (tungsten, type b)
Electric lighting up our eyes.
Driving us crazy from the bottoms of our humid lungs
To the very tips of our hair.
We burst
We burst into flame.
We glimmer, alive.

This is how I remember being born.

this poem is from 47 Venezuela which can be downloaded in its entirety (for free!) here, along with many other great chapbooks.  Check them out.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

Warwick Slavik isn’t the center of the Universe

Jesse S. Mitchell

The rain started suddenly and it began to end as abruptly, coming down in odd streaks and rivulets.   Precipitation as ribaldry, Deluge as mockery, the concrete could not absorb it, it just rushed and washed this way and that, aimless, in limbo.  The taxi lurched through the clogged streets, and Warwick saw them, two people huddled together in a doorway, asylum seekers, and their faces pressed together, oblivious now that the rain had stopped.  The scene looked black and white, sepiatoned, shades of grey, like a Vivian Meier.  A binary star system, twin suns locked in gravitational orbit of pure elation.  The epicenter of their own galaxy. Warwick felt the way he imagined it felt to be Jean Cocteau, or Mark Rothko, all alone in purgatory rain, adrift in empty space, watching, watching from the edge.
 Because nobody could be the center of an anything, anywhere, without an anybody else. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Chicagospell (part 3)

Jesse S. Mitchell

part 2 here

part 1 here

Charlie felt a small hand touch his palm.  The hand seized a hold of fingers and tugged frantically.  He looked down to see the little girl again, she was pulling him and leading through the foliage.
“We have to keep moving.”  She said without looking back at him.  And they moved on.  On the other side of the shrubbery, was the orchard still but the fruit trees began to be replaced with tall skeletal trees, black as pitch, and sharp and hard like spears sticking point up out of a rapidly freezing soil, leaves hanging down like knife blades, razor-sharp and ominous.  The white birds gone, but now black birds on every branch, ravens, cawing and not chanting.  Overheard the light followed them, a spotlight, a floodlight, and the definite chopping of air, the whirl and bite of a helicopter.  Several helicopters swarming as Charlie and the little girl ran-walked through the steel forest.  Snow beginning to fall.  Huge white flakes covering over everything.
“Where are we?”  Charlie asked, nearly out of breath, out of shape and unaccustomed to this kind of physicality.
“Not far from Sheridan Road actually.”
“Really?” amazed.
“Listen, we have to keep moving.  We have to make it past the Ogre of the ironwoods.”
“Okay.” amazed. “But, it is getting hard to see, is the thing.  Are you sure you know which way you are going?” a certain noticeable condescending tone to his voice, humoring the small child.  She didn’t answer him back, but kept wrenching him forward.  An orange glow slowing emerging deep within the center of the forest, a deep red, a fire light, and the sound of low groaning, grinding stone, a terrible concrete hard, blood gurgling sound, and terrible bright, frightening light.  And they were heading towards it.  The birds, the black feathered crows, covered with snow, charred snow, and soot, their feathers hanging and dripping thin droplets of melt and blood, long demonic claws, talons like bayonet blades stabbed-stuck in the thin bony branches, the birds began to caw-chant a sing-song language, “krieg! Sich bekriegen. La guerre. Amputacja. Bloed! Death.”
In the middle of the woods, they came upon a large clearing.  The little girl stopped, put her hand and motioned for Charlie to stop as well, put her finger to her lips. “Be very quiet.  We will have to move around the edges.”
As they moved slowly, quietly around the perimeter of the clearing, Charlie looked into the center of the breach, watched the fire blazing.  Sitting high, fifteen of twenty feet tall, legs spread wide, a deep cadaver-grey humanoid beast, all covered in scars and putrid scabs, long ragged nails, bulging blue thrombosis-veins snaking wildly under the ugly skin.  Fat, rotund gut jutting out in front, sweat dripping out the pours.  Grabbing up great handfuls of sun bleached bones, broken vertebrae, and busted skulls, throwing them down violently into the fire, no wood, the fuel was completely bone and corpse.  The monster’s mouth was huge, nearly splitting the head completely into two different objects, and ringed on the bottom with rows of short sharp teeth, shark jaws, and the cavity inside the mouth was filled to the brim with blood, dark brick red blood, spilling as the ogre moved.
“Don’t look it in the eye.”  the girl warned.
“Why?  What will happen?”
“Madness.  Violence.  You will be become like them.”  She pointed to the rows of rotting bodies in various uniforms stuck decaying, impaled on the sharp branches of the trees, some still clutching gun, or rifle, or knife.
“Hmm.  So, this place is…”
“The end of the whole world.” the little girl interrupted.
They both stood still and watched, moments past, and as Charlie and the child turned to head the other way, they moved strangely, a whole 180 degree turn without moving their bodies, just their view.  And the forest was gone.  The dark was gone.  The sun had returned but the sky was overcast.  Clouds and a stiff breeze, a chill to the air, and a rocky beach had their feet.  It would seem they had reached the other end of the island.  The ocean came up quickly, rushing, tall waves but the surf turned gentle as it washed up on the boulders and grey stones.  They didn’t move.  They just watched the sea.  And then Charlie spoke.
“You know, one of the first things you have to accept in this world is nobody really cares what you do, about the things you do.  I mean, of course, everyone has a few friends, some family, and they are happy when you are happy, glad when you are glad, satisfied to see you occupied and productive, but mostly we are alone with our endeavors.  But that’s good.  And that’s okay.  We call that freedom. We call that autonomy.  Nobody is looking, do what you want, it’s your life after all.  And that is called wisdom.  It is the gift you get for livin’ long enough.   But it is a kind of wisdom wasted, because the best years of your life are used up trying to make a mark on this world, and that can’t be done, this world isn’t clay, this world is iron, hot iron. Atrophied and half-starved, a bag of broken bones hoping to make a rattle, this empire or that, it is so easy to get mixed up.
 Back before I started writing plays, when I was still a journalist, when I was still mostly human,” Charlie chuckled, “I was young, yeah, I… I would come across these stories, or was assigned a story , or whatever, I would sit down to write the thing, and I would tell myself to really make this one stick, squeeze as much poetry in as I could.  With newspaper writing, there is no room for bullshit, concise, you gotta be concise, but I would find a way, I would find a way to be as artsy as I could.  I mean, it was a big city, it was a big newspaper, one of these damned stories would pull me out, the right eyes would see, and then, I would have it made.  But you know what the trouble with that was?”  He looked down at the little girl.
“No one reads the damned newspaper.”
And they started walking out into the cold grey water, a gentle foam around their ankles.  
Charlie continued  walking, the water lapping and moving around his ankles.  The little girl was gone but Charlie was still talking, either because he hadn’t noticed her departure or else because he had become accustom to the mood, and the words spilled out freely.
“Ah, but what did I expect, really?  I mean, I blame on it on this or on that, on the apathy of the dimming populace, the liaising of ignorance and ease of living.  But, but I know those are just terrible excuses, easy answers, go to places for a bitter mind.  I was never aggressive enough.  Not with my work.  Not with myself.  Maybe if I had of pushed a little harder, I could’ve, sort of made some kind of scratch, a smear, on the face of this Earth.  Maybe not a globe of clay but maybe one of a softer metal, if I could’ve just put my back into it.  I have seen in my life, great huge trees wither away and die, tiny shoots spring up and grew straight and high, vine covered hills, blossoming brambles eat away at hard rock and straggle out hard barked ciders and snuff out thorny rose bushes.  And all for the sake of the sun, the earth food, the liquid swelling under the stony ground.  Nothing is impossible to life.  I am not even a good socialist because I can see this, and everywhere, without the struggle for resources, we would be living a thin green film, a planet of slime and slime eaters, no diversity.  Nothing new, no niches to fill.”
The water churned.  Bright big bubble popped up and in the effervesce, walls began to grow up around Charlie, a roof began to cover over his head, and soon a whiff  of sweet tobacco smoke blew into his face.  The scent he noticed first and came slowly out of his delirium, he saw walking in front of him the man in the beret and green fatigues.  He looked around to his side and saw that they were walking down the very middle of the Nave of St. Sernin  in Toulouse.  Shiny chandeliers hanging gold and brilliant from the high ceilings, tall arcades and vaulted archways, dark wooden seats and pews to each side of them.
“You again.”
The man nodded.
“But maybe it was my subject matter.  With the plays at least, who did I thin I was, the very patron saint of total toothless pomposity, writing, squealing out screeds.  Sitting around some zombie-eyed toothless old typewriter, click-clacking away, everything about impossibility, sincerity, immorality, probability, soggy science, all wan colors. The different states of matter, the frozen notion of the time, the liquid leaking away of days, the gaseous cloud of expression, everything rotating around our heads, our lives. And for what?  To sate my desire to hear myself talk.  To put words in mouths not my own to have confirmation of principles I thought dubious but wanted…wanted so very badly to be real or to not be real, to live on their own, or to finally die away.  I wanted to be god.  A god.  A divine breaking of words against a most destructive wind of wild and complete ennui.    The demon, indifference that plagued me so, what tear me to my bones, that stripped away my flesh.  To heal my hurts.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Warwick Slavik’s Day at Work

Jesse S. Mitchell

Warwick Slavik likes to be productive, converting oxygen to carbon dioxide, breathing for the trees, leaving his footprint, gentle, behind.  EinWurm gets upset waking up in the mornings, his body aches, his mind all frozen over, so much ice, so much ice, so much iceage melting, Paleolithic drifting.  The two men watch outside the window, looking to see the time.  Real time, not clock time.  Is it Anthropocene?  Is it Pleistocene?  Here come the meters, here comes the showers.
The dark sky reminds the two men of night, of sleeping, dreaming. 
Warwick’s dream is retire someday and live in Taos, live near D. H. Lawrence’s ranch, his favorite writer.
EinWurm hears T. E. Lawrence, not D. H. and Ein never really cared for the Arabs. 
He scowls.  
Here come the meters.  Here come the comets, explosions.  Here come the showers.
The two stand in silence for a while.
They are clearly two very different people. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Rome est Tombé

Jesse S. Mitchell

Don’t ever find me blind
 I will take your eyes.
Don’t ever find me deaf
 I will take your ears.
Don’t ever find me dead
 I will take your life.
Don’t ever find me alone.
 I will take your breath.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Warwick Slavik's day at the Museum

Jesse S. Mitchell

A sordid creation, vile, this human mess.  Paint collecting in all the corners, canvas, movie screen, half-hearted barely there semi-real pseudo-philosophical emotional screeds.  Always loud, always shrill, always in motion, never quiet, never still.
And what can stop the hemorrhaging, the Guernicas happening? 1-2-3-4 more, bloody art and left the reeling subjects sore, the poor, the eyeless nearly dead. Does the peace lie with the razor blade, or with the open vein, the wide sea or the open air?  Is it serenity or is it power, we are creating for?  Fighting for, with blankstaring words and obtuse abstraction blotchy-stains, the refrains, the repeating repeating refrains?  What remains?
So, he follows his mind, lets his eyes unfocus and go blind.

But this is where we all collide, fireflies, skies, lotus-eating bits of flame.  Old fashioned Agnigods that throw their hands over everything and breathe into us our smokestack lungs, ghostly shades of ghastly things, that we call them souls, waif thin and gauzy gossamer and recreate them in bold relief, haphazardly melting and melding and welding, all collision. 
John Frum and Jack Kennedy and Salvador Dali, but raining bombs or steel or paint like rain from out of the sky. 

It doesn’t matter.  Warwick sighs; he doesn’t know a thing about art.     

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Warwick Slavik’s Morning Ritual.

Jesse S. Mitchell

Warwick Slavik has ennui.  The old hollowed out boredom.  The eyesight-drunkenness of too much incandescence, the shadows cannot be seen, the nuances blurred. 
He stares at his reflection.  It is from a glut of passion, that we suffer so much ecstasy, all the cruel effects, the anticlimax of each morning, the demystification of sensation.  All cognitive reasoning distorted, vague, what was sound becomes unsound, what was found becomes unfound, lost, confused, overjoyed, but anesthetized.  A painful stab of daylight that contracts the pupil.  Greek theogony, yawning void births darkness. 
But around his eyes, past the delirium, past the habitual, he can focus finally and with a last gasp, planetary glimpse, he can see all of wide-eyed creation.  From where he is, he can see to the very end of time. And to the beginning, too.  Nebulae and novae, scratching life from out of exploding cosmos, plowing open fields of quasar quiver, implosion and convulsion.
Finding this vision a love enough for life, enough excitement to bewilder, Warwick Slavik picks up his toothbrush and continues getting ready for work.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Chicagospell (part 2)

Jesse S. Mitchell

part 1 here at Sparks of Consciousness

Charlie reached over the side of the boat and let his fingers slide through the water.  He opened and closed his hand, making a tight clenched fist, a wrecking ball, dragging violently through the waves.  He pulled it up and looked hard at it, studied it as little strands and drops of water fell off, splashing back into the sea.
“But, um, also…”
“Well, it’s just that, it is confusing.  Time gets away from you, the days and weeks just slide away.  All this life, all of it, extravagant and scary, the boring little moments, the clashing metal, the car crashing minutes, the blinking of an eye, all gone.  I’ve lived so many years on this planet, not many left, no matter how you try to do the math, try to rationalize all your actions, all your mortality away.  No matter how you slice it.”
The black haired woman still rowing the boat, looking more and more annoyed at Charlie’s unwillingness to assist her.
“Start paddling.”
“I mean, life, is like a glass of water, and your mouth is completely parched, so much thirst, you can just stare at it, bleeding beads of cool sweat down the sides, tempting…or threatening.  You have to drink it, put it to your lips and swallow and then it is gone.  Forever.  And you can’t ever put it back in the glass.”
The sun shines bright on the surface of the sea.  The light reflects up, feels hot, makes Charlie squint, he can see circlets and spirals of light glare, multicolored halos of glimmer.
He look back at the woman, reaches down inside the boat and grabs an oar, puts it in the water, lazily begins rowing.
“You know all of this used to big time gangster territory, all around us.”
The woman’s hair a feral ruckus, like arms or tentacles reaching out,  her clothes moving independently, her face stoic, looking back at Charlie as he speaks, unimpressed.
“Yeah, back in prohibition days, Al Capone, all of that…they used to make the liquor downstate and in Kentucky and run it back up here and sell it out of speakeasies, bedrooms, nightclubs.  A lot of violence.  Always been a lot of violence. Now it is just the land of the great wretched of the Earth.”
Charlie shakes his head.
“Made your peace with Fanon, then?”  the woman asks.
“Hmm?  Yeah, well…peace I can make with Fanon but not with this Francis Ferdinand world, a tinderbox, an aerosol can left out too long in the sun, god knows what will happen next…”
“It will explode.”
Charlie lifted a finger to the side of his nose.
“Yep, too much pressure.”
“what else can it do?”
“Well, it could vent…but that is war…”
“Or genocide or worse, always it is blood.”
“Or it could come in from out of the heat.  Stop languishing dead under the blazing sun.”
“Find some shade.”
“Turn off the friction, turn down the mind.”
“But nature, nature happens.”
“Everything occurs. It is the burning laws of nature, here,” Charlie points to the side of his head, “right here, flaring in my mind, I mean to temper, assuage the roaring furnace of everyday life, douse them, let smolder out, smothered damp.  That is entirely my point, retreat like a refugee from the awful consequences of being a living life form.  Go live far away, a celestial giant slumbering, folded into the skies, stratospherically gone, nothing but a collection of visual and auditory illusions, forever blinking away up in the stars.”
“Pfft.”  the woman shakes her head dismissively.
The boat comes to a stop, slides up on the sandy, rocky bank.  Charlie looks around and sees a island, a deep green island, covered with fruit trees, some very well tended orchard.  White birds, doves probably, perched on every single branch.  The sunlight so warm and golden, feels medicinal as it falls softly on his skin.  He walks slow up the slight incline to find himself surrounded by the orchard proper.  He looks behind himself.  The boat is gone.  The woman is gone.  The ocean is gone.
He turns back around and is greeted by a nearly naked man in front of him.  Charlie is startled.  But the man is smiling and appears affable, a large fig leaf over his personal areas.  He holds out his hand to lead Charlie through the copse of flowering fruit trees.  
“I’m not going to have to fight anyone, right?  No priest of the grove?  This isn’t some kind of Frazer thing?”
“You are perfectly safe.”  the naked man replies, his voice odd, thick, like several people speaking at once, harmonic.
As Charlie walks through the trees, he notices the birds are making noise, peculiar noise, like singing.  Not singing.  Too short.  Too quick.  Chanting.  Talking.  He turns his head and looks hard, scrutinizes the tree on his right, hundreds of pure white birds, all of them in unison intoning, “om mani padme hum”.
The looks to the tree on his left, listens, “krsna hare hare hare rama hare rama”.
“Hey!” yelling forward to the naked man.
“Yes?”  fig leaf asks
“Your birds, they can talk?”
“Not my birds but yes, they can vocalize.  They don’t have a vocabulary of their own, they just recite.  It isn’t truly the power of speech.”
“Hmm.”  Charlie nods and checks out the next tree on the right they pass, the birds sang, “Ash-hadu an-la ilaha illa Allah”.
The next tree to the left sounds like this, “Yehei shmeh rabba mevarakh lealam ulalmey almaya.”
“This is fascinating.”  Charlie says to himself.
“Hey, do you know what you’ve got here?  Do you realize what these birds are doing?”  He asks the naked man, who is no longer alone but is walking side by side with an equally naked woman, fig leaf and all.
“What do we have here?”
“These birds, these animals are…”
“Yes.”  they interrupt him.  They both speak at the same time.
“They…okay, well.  Doesn’t it get a bit old after a while?”
“The noise.  The chatter.  Don’t you get tired of it?”
“It goes away after time.  Barely do we notice it, it blends in, nothing but ambient breath.”
The three of them walk silently, with Charlie in the far back for a few more moments when the man and woman begin speaking again.
“Charlie Bohl.”
Charlie looks up from the ground and away from the trees, his eyes wide, a look of surprise or shock stitched on his face.
“It is no shame to survive.”
“Excuse me? Survive what?” taken aback.
“Life.  It is no shame to survive this life.”
“Yeah, well, it is no great honor either is it?”
A strong wind comes up, a whipping cyclonic forceful wind.  So suddenly, Charlie almost falls down.  The wind blows through the open spaces between the trees, blows Charlie’s hair and clothes around, the naked couple walk on unfazed.  The trees began to bow and shuffle, some nearly bend all the way to the ground.
“What the hell is going on?”
“It is looking for you.”
“It is, is it?”
“Oh!”  Charlie blurts out, “Oh! Oh, I see!  I get it.  I know what this is.”  He shakes his head, “I’ve never had any use for this place.  I didn’t even think it was real, that it even exists.”
“But because you thought of it at all, even to think of it as not existing, it does exist someplace.  It exists here.  Here you are.  Now you both exist.”
“You both?  Me and it or me and this place?”
“Both. All.”
“A place isn’t a living thing.”
“Yes what?”
“Yes, a place does.”
Charlie shakes his head again, getting annoyed.
As he moves on, he begins to notice thickets and clumps of low flowers around his feet.  Vines and brambles, all blooming and blossoming spontaneously as he sets his feet down.  He looked up from the ground and noticed he was alone again, the near-naked couple disappeared away.  The air grew foggy, misty, and the flowers grew taller and denser as he went on, bushy roses and profusions of color everywhere.  Before long he was completely surrounded by high sunflowers, gold, and yellow, and red petals and spiny stems, the leaves grabbing at him, making it hard for him to fight his way through.  The wind picked up again, blowing his hair around, the rattling the flora.
“Making another pass?”  he yelled up toward the sky.   As soon as the words left his mouth, all the light went out, the way a curtain drops on a stage, or the way blood pressure drops from shock, suddenly.  He stood still in the total darkness, clutched and trapped in a brush of flowers and wild grasses violently moving around his body.  An abrupt, an unexpected light beamed straight down on him, a heavy light, like coagulated blood-light.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Jesse S. Mitchell


The empty jar, canopic.
The blinded eye, myopic.
The incessant sleeping, soporific.
The heaven dreaming, euphoric.