Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Gold Doubloons

           My curtains were shoved aside but the stars couldn't seep through the clouds. There was no window screen so I hung practically all of my torso out the window watching the final streaks of pink diluted into night. Collingwood finally fell asleep snoozing off with the remaining snores of cars gunning up and down the alleys. In the other room my mother crashed in the heaps of her old bottles spelling out new patterns of desperation. But it wasn't her according to the sprayed message on my window. She's gone, and you are on your way. Gone can mean different things right? Maybe they just meant her sanity was gone. Or her dignity, or her love, or her soul, or her will to live. There could be a lot of answers I told myself because I was to chicken to check and maybe confirm my worst fear. I might be truly alone, She's gone, and you are on your way. 
           The blanket on my bed wiggled and I whipped around. Rosy had shoved under my pillow without my warmth next to him. I refused to be alone and the puppy is my proof. We've got a Mary and her lambs type thing going and practically no one in Collingwood questioned someone bringing their dog everywhere. They wouldn't even question me if it was a pony or a peacock at the end of the leash instead.
           My computer was plugged in again in a last attempt to keep it out of hell, but even intense CPR wasn't doing much. Next the useless hunk of metal sat my comp book open and smeared with ink matching my hands. I slowly turned to face it in the halo that my missing lampshade cast. But suddenly didn't matter. A heavy paperclipped set off papers flew out. A bright orange sticky note lay on top.

For your superb poem

          Behind it 10 crisp bills were clipped together hidden in the gap with the frayed bits of a missing poem. It had been an old one rejected by several companies but someone had paid for it. Another crash came this time against my door. I faced it waiting hopeful for a knob turning and proof it was my mother moving but instead silence. I threw the fancy check on the ground and almost ripped the cover off my notebook while trying to find a blank page. 

Gold doubloons fill the room
the door to you still looms
There were promises if you ever earned 
but I grew up and quickly learned
no person is no promise 
so coins clink in calmness
on me you cannot spend
to me your promise is dead

         The release was nice but the check mocked me from the floor so I shoved it between the pages of my comp book and into my shoulder bag so I could easily slip through the window, being careful to close the glass behind me so if Rosy woke up he wouldn't freak and try to follow. The metal shook under my weight and rust flecks spotted my jeans. In case of emergency I had better luck in the elevator, but for now the fire escape was a good way to avoid the living room. I shoved myself down all 10 other stories and finally hit the ground by the pool. It was more of a pond with green brackish water that looked more appropriate for nuclear fuel than letting touch your skin even a bit. I followed the end of the building to slip behind and into the alley between the Heights and Hot Legs.
            Light flashed through the windows and glass clinked so I hurried through and across Collingwood Ave. onto the sidewalk in front of the clinic. The park loomed on the other side of the pavement promising solace in dark branches but I heard a slam and scraping behind me. A woman paced with the ferocity of a bulldozer. When she passed the bench she kicked it hard. She wore a bright uniform exclaiming Grizzly bowls with a happy cartoon bear, although looking at the girls face it should have had more of a snarl with lots of teeth. Between passes in her pacing she looked up at the clinic and I knew she needed a hug of some sort.
            “Hey” I walked to her grabbed her hand. She tried to pull back but I put the cash wad in her fist and ran back towards home. Anyone depressed in a bowling uniform in front of an all night clinic needed cash and I needed a guilt escape. I felt lighter pulling myself up hand over hand on the fire escape and into bed next to the best dog anyone could ever ask for. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

She's gone, and you are on your way.

         You would think true events were an instant inspiration, creepy events like 6 children dying at 6 years old creating great poems meant for the dark on rainy nights. But really you just sit in your pjs adding stains to them with coffee and skip over the headline in the paper. No one really needed the news reporters in Collingwood. News travels so fast by natives they only ordered the Sunday headlines out of courtesy. I had heard about the dead girl's gruesome circumstances from Jeremy when I ordered pizza last night. He heard about it at school from a kid who knew the older brother of the girl, they had all been in the same grade for a year, of course then the brother died. Really I just nodded and shared a shiver with Jeremy, I didn't really care to continue the topic.
         I had been a couple years ahead of Jeremy in school and we had known each other a friend of a friend, but nothing more. At least I wasn't alone with a personal pizza that night or he would have insisted on walking me home after his shift and trying to stay for dinner. But I had a hot date. A mostly bare baby with practically no nose. At least his color had filled in a bit and he was starting to look a little more textured with down. Not nearly as attractive as Jeremy's craggy oily teenage face, but I would have to survive.
         I was nowhere near alone. Someone else ate the toppings I picked off my pizza and cared what time I woke up in the morning. So I set aside the depressing paper and threw another slice of left over pizza toppings to the Rosy nose on the other kitchen seat. It was the first time I had taken the time for breakfast in ages and it was fun. I opened my laptop and drafted.

Speaking comes in little nudges
smiles are less to ask for
so grin and grimace
pinch your cheeks
and your chin
Contort the feeling back into your skin

         No rhyme scheme or meter, and a great pattern to look at. Poems should be for the eyes as well, feeling as even or not as the words themselves. It prohibited some poems, waiting for the right number of letters or words to paint a picture, but really I needed to go back and revise things and compile then. I would buy real dog food, but I can't, not yet anyway.
         With a start the pup jumped straight up managing to tip his entire chair to the ground and still manage to slide to the door yapping all the way. He made a wide birth around my mother's couch and fell silent for a note before getting right back on the chugging to crazy down. He leaped repeatedly up towards the handle yelling as he went. Spent a moment watching before deciding to take a peak. No one would see me through the lens in my door. I slid my feet under me and lifted upright setting the mug on the equally stained table and left it standing praying it wouldn't go cold. Even a cup of instant was better than none. I stepped over the lip between kitchen and living room, but was still caught on one of the boards that peaked up looking for victims. My nail was forcefully pushed back into itself until the point it was left behind when I slid forward on my other foot realizing each of the dog's Rosy mouth madness punctuated a knock on my door.
          So I presented myself, browned jammies, reddened toe, and pink dog, a rainbow to the caller. A woman stood before me, and I realized I had forgotten to look through the peep hole before I opened the door inward, like an invite to the stranger into my home. "You don't look scary" I decided I would have open the door anyway for the average looking. She wasn't memorable until she drew her eyebrows together tensing in preparation and shot herself down the corridor only leaving a trail of water droplets in her wake.
         She mist have swum in from outside and was still toting around the ever present gray behind her. The whole world was slurred with the weather drenching its self in tear from big puffy eyes in the sky. It would be pretty typical for Collingwood dodging around the cold water pellets, but we now swam next to ducks trying to get up the street. Metaphors aside Ducks were running around as crazy as the other inhabitants. I was sure though their strange gathering would ends soon, just as the canary convention and bluebird convention had dissipated before it. Slowly I retreated closing the door and made sure it didn't slam so as not to wakeup my neighbors at the dim hour. Rosy squeaked and barked once at the door. He seemed as speechless about the visitor as I had been but he hand't been a resident long enough to not let it phase him.
         But we weren't alone anymore. In the window above my mother a bright green tinged in curling letters. She's gone, and you are on your way. The letters flashed against the dark and gray water colors tinged by a blurry highlight of glow paint. And I was left against the door with Rosy to stare at my mother wishing the visitor would come back. The author of my windows new decoration was right. I hadn't seen in a long time, and I didn't have the courage to drag my lids up and wipe away the sleepies. Rosy licked me a final time leaving a trail of drool and I followed him into my bedroom.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Going to the dogs...

Going to the dogs was right, it seemed like the entire contents of Collingwood Heights had turned out with their pets; ballon, ferret, and other wise. No one seemed to have realized it was a dog party and one stringy guy even had an equally stringy rodent sitting in the nest of his hair. It was 100% Collingwood, patches ruins and all. No one seemed to even think about the crime scene right outside of the gates of the Dog Park marking the final resting place of yet another ghost of Collingwood Heights. Life worked like that, and in a place where everyone would rather hear rumors than any story on who was president or which countries had declared war on each other, you were closer to everyone as a person even if what you knew about them was made up. The same babies she had held as their mothers fumbled for their keys ran around toting shiny rubber puppies made by the same guy who had twisted balloons into swords for her not too long ago. Mothers ran after dogs and Volunteers ran after children and all looked a bit too pink in the heat of desperation. Some desperate for a companion, others for shade, but all were there together and that was something to rejoice because no one had died yet. I chose one of the sparsely grassed areas of the lawn and sat down to relish in the smells of less doggy dung than usual. One pup had strayed over to a fence edge cowering into one of the posts, licking and gnawing at the wood grains. Charlotte slipped the complementary treat bag from her pocket and unstuck her sweat glued butt from the dirt. When she finally got with in a couple steps of the dog it froze, teeth still exposed. Charlotte chose a spot a little to the left of the statuesque furball and lowered herself back down with her back on the fence. "There isn't really much worth eating here is there, except these biscuits, and I don't really want them." I slowly moved my head to look at the dog chewing at air trying to shake the splinters from it's pinky gums, "unless you want them?".  I withdrew my hand and pushed my arm to full extension and held the treat within aromal reach of the puppy's perky pink nose. The whole think was pink. The nose and gums and paws and even the skin underneath its scraggly white fur. It reached its long tongue out pulling the tasty treat to the ground before snapping it up and going back to chewing at the air and staring straight ahead. I set another treat on my knee to coax the pup and followed its gaze. A man stood across the way in a pressed purple suit set gazing out at the crowd from under the brim of his hat. His eyes were indistinguishable but he didn't pant from the heat even with the long pants, shirt, coat, and hat. A dog pranced out of the grasp of a child and dodged towards the man and hit him by accident, but he didn't flinch much less look down at the pesky nuisance. The shiny plum shoes pointed like a neon sign toward the empty ballon cart with a dispersing line of disappointed kids slowly walking away empty handed without little bubble dogs waiting to go out with a bang when they were loved a little too hard. I shuddered, jerking my head down to my lap to see a rosy belly turned up in my lap. "Rosy baby, aren't you a sweetheart".  I cradled the curious lump in my arms and rose. Around it's neck it wore a paper band around it's neck marking it as one of the dogs one of the local humane societies was putting up for adoption. "Well you seem unaccounted for, let's get you a collar and make us official". I wouldn't be sleeping alone tonight surviving the flailing sounds from the living room, someone would be keeping my feetsies warm and my dreams my own.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The day started with...

The day started with silence. My mom had finally gone quiet in the living room and it was eary, only to be able to hear the cars as the ceiling had lightened into a pale gray. I waited just long enough to need to sprint through my morning routine so as to focus on the task at hand, and only see my mother as the blur she obviously felt she was. Laptop, Bananna, shoes; laptop, bannana, shoes. I slid on my socks to the kitchen slamming my hip into the counter. Laptop, bananna, ow, shoes. Laptop, shoes. I shoved the Bananna into the bag and shoved my fingers through my long hair, traces of my braid lingering but nothing yanking at my scalp and suggesting me as unpresentable for the coffee shop. Laptop followed the banana, maybe not the best choice. Shoes, shoes, shoes, PANTS. I run back to my room and grab the first pair lying on the floor and ram my toes into my shoes. Laptop, banana, shoes. I shoved the door closed behind me with my shoulder imprinting the numbers onto my skin bruise style. 1108, eleventh floor of hell. I had lived there as long as i could remember. I remembered it the same way I remembered my birthday November 8th. But it had never been a happy day. It was also the day the apartment became mine and my mothers. It was the day we became I and the only time mom moved was at night. Like an owl she was nocturnal the only evidence of life, the rearrangements of the flasks and grime back and forth. It was such a routine only broken up by odd things like renovations. This week it was the top floor damage control taking up the elevator with painters and overly heavy material. The stupid renovations happened again and again but everything in this place is broken. When are they going to learn? We are a garden of graffiti and taken advantage of by mind addled teens. I have no idea what Mr. Collingwood would think of his once "Manor". His town was defiled, lacy skimpy pieces of fabric crossing his mighty chest in the park, making the regal man look ridiculous in the women's undergarments.