Tag Archives: freewrite

How I got Up there

Once by the sunflowers I was afraid to jump.

I had a home in a dusty box
Hammered out in cheap words and wood
On another edge of the world
In dresses, mothballs, needles and blown pipe ash
The brown bag refuge in the pines

Once I flew over the library in the pink cold sunset.

Somewhere there’s sandy clapboards and the shells in the rock
Smoke and mattresses
Delirium and stolen breath
Rolling cartwheels down cobbleways
There’s a drag on your coat tails
And a bishop behind the gate

Once I tread on thin shingles and plastic ghosts.

I had a canvas jacket
I had a brown patch coat
I had a long black number
I was all sandglass and brick

Once I simply opened a door and climbed up.

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Helen’s Scene

Helen came bouncing through the glass doors, overcoated by brilliant frosty air. She was big, gray and nested comfortably in life like an old cat on an overstuffed chair.

In a second of bad news, Helen’s buoyant face with all its oak-bark creases could drop to a taut mask of fear and vulnerability that made her look young and heartbroken.  Most of the time, though, her cheeks and wide mouth and bubble chin lifted high and hugged together in a great warm smile.  Standing before that smile was like standing before a great oven moments before fresh bread came out to cool.

Flighty and breathless, Helen never settled on a table or chair.  In her daily hours spent at the shop she would rise half a dozen times from one perch to flap quickly to a new decided-on roost.  An hour might be spent humming long, tuneless notes watching carefully out of a picture window onto the empty street.  Sudden as the wind, she would change to a conspicuous seat at the large central table, bowed in fierce concentration over old puzzles in old newspapers.  When a friend pushed quietly into the shop, Helen would bowl aside young laptoppers in their private worlds to make room.

As the sun descended over the town on its way to new westward purchases, Helen left as quickly and decisively as she did anything.  In the middle of a puzzle, conversation or observation, she glanced up as if called, excused herself with a hearty throat-clearing, and floated out the door to drift like a dandelion down the windy street.

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there, here

Now, we are grown older.
A discarded pair of glasses, eye, shade or costume, is not ours for the trying-on.
We have come to the park not to chase across the grass, nor to examine worlds and kingdoms at trees’ feet, but for still and silent council with colder, quieter elements: rock, restless water, the sun in its jewels and brocade taking survey of its limitless empire.
Here the seconds widen.
A minute is gulf enough to inhabit oneself, small, complete and simple; to locate this unusual, unremarkable corner of space and enjoy, for sixty seconds, the terrifying brook of murmuring time.
In the random span of our living rope, here we might choose to exist, reserved and serene on a gray and stony shore.
In our age there is no madness, neither pain, but only shores of faces, hands and hair and fingers, whose high watermarks make up our passing time.

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Blind shoots and wooden bones

Blind shoots and wooden bones
through the slow, sandy strata of time
wove through hidden mineral years and split trunks
searching arms to skeletons.

Twig and claw from a distance
the dime portrait of a great neuron
frozen forks of lightning in the blue clouds
soft cotton colors in the early evening.

Gentle and warm behind the bisection, no aid in illumination
the light breathed slow and bright around them.

A tin-can grey train
intermittently
battled with inertia like a great bear, grumpy and afraid
from its long hibernation
rolling, limb by limb, back into the waking world.

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From a bridge

Iron flake and orange
Strength and sunset
Earth in an Easter dress
Tapped at with tree-fingers
Peach-blanched with winter
Roll over my shoulderback
Five or fifty dozen times a day
Face-down to my deep dark bloodlines
Molded to their hills and tracks
Warned away from touch
Huddled here under old fish bones
Invisible to the sky, and in it
Staring at the earth, and through it
Rusty old body under a big new sound
Here with you ’til you forget
My joy to sleep and see so much
And never waking, never say a thing

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Shakin’

Shake me ’til I freeze my bones
I am warm here, shakin’ on my own
Warmly I watch th’ ripples pass
The lull of the water is a magnifyin’ glass

Out of that stillness I’m a dying leaf
There’s no more life in a tree
Than what’s underneath

Here I’m shakin’, it’s divine
Won’t you come to my basement for a bottle o’ wine
Down in th’ dark we’re cozy and warm
Looking over the rooftops for a rollin’ grumblestorm

One of us has got to fly out there
Shake off those wings so I can watch you
Shake in the air

Back on the ground I will fly soft n’ low
Growin’ my patience; growing cold
Put your foot in my hand and we’ll look out o’er the lake
Stretch out your fingers and feel th’ muscles ache

Listen to the lapping it’s got to make your heart break
When all I can do is stand on a stump and shake

The roots share a secret with the damn ol’ docks
See ’em if you can see ’em from the back of a rock
Down in th’ dirt they were connected by time
Thinkin’ of leaves that they lost, climbin’ into the sky

I’ll come and find you and we can keep all our leaves
Between you and me we’ve got two up on the trees

Shake me in your arms and tell me there’s no mistake
Out in the storm or on th’ frozen lake
Here in th’ hold I can make my escape
Outta my bones and into yours I shake

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BANG-on mind of a drowsy brain in a rust-lit hole of a saloon
Every face here is pretty enough for the D.M.V.

Stack a plastic up, knock a whisky down,
Wonder why your hair’s grown long
What’s if feel like, all clammy-neck on the pillow?

The original heroes exist outside our time and inside our walls
“They” are dead, but “they” named it after “their”–
The lie we all pass on into stories and pictures.

None of us go to heaven,
But there is an afterlife if you keep your mouth shut
And sell beer to strangers
Looks like I’m immortal
After all

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Stormy

I know little and understand less.

As for you,
I would be wind
Racing across the lake,
Changing light’s play on the surface.
I would be breath
Rolling over the shore,
Brushing worry into smooth, soft beds.

I am a brief storm; you are a brilliant stone.
I am impulse; you are permanence.

This is my romance:
Selfish, self-sacrificing.

You are another tempest.
Ancient and heavy, I am shelter from the whirlwind.

I understand so little and know so much.
We are storm and stone, wind and waves.
A gray day is ours for dancing.

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10/7/16

basket-backed chairs and blue plastic seats glossy and reflective like model donuts in a bakery window
the colors and lines that cut glide through the diner are clean and comforting
linoleum and ceramic all polished
not cold no dark corners
like a morning in suspension
and outside it’s sleeves-up sleeves-down weather

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The moon is as lustrous
as any common dusty street lamp
but it does not pick and choose
among the streets and sidewalks
nor depend on the hands of men
to determine its illumined subjects

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Marack Friesach

Ihr Premium-Jungwagen Partner in Österreich.

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