I saw a coyote last night. There was a tattered hole in his left ear. I almost missed him, perched there on the porous sidewalk, his lemon eyes glazed in the orange glow of the streetlight, his tumbleweed tail thumping soundlessly.
I shuffled on, my shins swishing like plastic bags.
I noticed a glint of black blood on the pavement. Just a drop or two.
They shoveled up the rest of my remains, yesterday morning. I listened to profanities slung by the strident tongues of the Grey Men. They chipped at the concrete. I listened to their shovels scrape and scratch.
“Smells like hell but at least I’m not coughin’ up flies,” one said to the other, his shovel dripping.
“I ain’t seen a single maggot,” the other agreed, and nodded, digging back into the heap.
There was a groan and a metallic suction and crunch accompanied by the blinking back-up beeps of the garbage truck.
I felt a seizure welling up.
I once held a baby bird, a couple summers ago. The tiny creature, lighter than a fistful of sunflower seeds, quivered violently with life and burned my hand. I dropped it. Just before the cat pounced, I plucked it up again and set it in the sink.
Its eyes, like two drops of midnight, leered up at me, its pale neck of string nearly snapping- and with a peculiar rictus grin splitting its face apart, it commenced its screams for sustenance.
No harm done.
A slurry of vultures descended for inspection. They poked and rasped and then looked at each other in disgust.
I watched them shrug and mount the bilge-water sky in a flurry of razor-black wings. Even the scavengers reject my remains.
The sun is pooling on the horizon now, in the garden of ales. Bottles glitter, poking up from the mud like stakes. Another wistful twilight hanging, the air sharp with the scent of broken twigs. The faceless doll in the background keeps spinning, dangling from the thumb of a branch.
The moon sweeps over. Distant lights yawn. The clouds are shorn by a gust of oven wind. I see the coyote again, stretching in the middle of the road, his ear whistling. I whisper a muffled apology to him- though, I know not why.
He gives me a lopsided look, his lemon-ball eyes in slits. A carnivorous smile swims across his inky lips.
The ripples above never seem to end.
Time to escape.
Pompous, highfalutin windbag…
Another dull interplay as Traffic Light refuses to change.
“You see, this is known as the arrow of time, which describes the asymmetrical nature of Time, and…”
Bunched traffic left in a puddle, behind.
What am I doing? What have I been doing all these years?
Unraveling like an old sweater.
All my life, pushing quaint little notes under the slouching fence. But I see no familiar, vibrant-faced recipient peeping back at me through the shadowy gap in the moldered boards. I only see darkness.
She must have grown up and moved away.
The other day, I noticed that I was missing another tooth.
I scuffle away, lutose and mildly bemused. The usual state.
Back to Entropy.
Fade to grain.
(Some experimental refractions. Thank you for drizzling by.)
The clattering waves. The intractable sky. Mute again, with gloomy grey eyes. A bit of bone cuts into my thumb. A touch of wind whispers through decaying feathers. I do not remember the last thing I felt before the embalming.
My mind is fossilized. As lively as the oldest stone. I lean back on the retracting cushion of Entropy, and gaze blankly toward the heavens. How dazzling is this thatch of scattering sparrows; how enchanting their dance of dewdrop shadows.
Thorny bliss is this mindlessness, oblique amongst the dried thistle and snapping bramble. I can vaguely hear it, somewhere wrapped in gauze; a little Life fizzing at the bottom of the quiet stream, beyond.
Like a mosquito, I insert a needle into it, now and then.
He rang the other night. I could hear that his lips were cracked and bleeding. He wept and begged forgiveness, but I had never felt slighted to begin with. Yet, my response was blank-eyed silence. There was only the sound of the restive wind moaning through the eaves to answer for me.
How stealthy a foe is this stifling captor; like a cashmere cloud, its downy coolness yawned over me. Its strangeness seemed safe, nestled inside its gossamer embrace, bound in a world without senses or thought. I am far too gone to feel alarm, now.
Regaining a pulse requires resurfacing. To drag the bloated body from the turgid depths. To pry open its chalky eyes, exposing them to the bone light of the wild ocean sky, above. To kiss its mucid, slimy visage and blow through its cold stringy-white lips.
“Ah! the wet surface extends its clear broth!
The water fills the prepared beds with pale bottomless gold.
The green faded dresses of girls
make willows, out of which hop unbridled birds.”
– Arthur Rimbaud, from the poem Memory ”Clear water; like the salt of childhood tears”
– Arthur Rimbaud, from the poem Memory“Prairie roses, two of them, climb down the sides of a road ditch. In the clear pool they find their faces along stiff knives of grass, and cat-tails who speak and keep thoughts in beaver brown.”
– Carl Sandburg, from the poem Memoranda
“A lacrymal tincture washes
The cabbage-green skies:
Under the drooling tree with tender shoots”
– Arthur Rimbaud, My Little Lovers “To-day, let me be monosyllabic….a crony of old men who wash sunlight in their fingers and enjoy slow-pacing clocks.”
– Carl Sandburg, from the poem Monosyllabic
“Life is like an onion; you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.”
– Carl Sandburg
Thank you for oozing by.
– Smiling Toad
(It was a bleary kind of day, today, and I finally summoned the courage to take the Polaroid Land Camera for a wee walk. Experimental photos below. Thanks for drizzling by.)Dull nolition chimes within his pebble eyes, staring limply into polished shadows. The frowzy sky curls up against the grey toothy waves. Metallic reflections fuse and break and scribble away. The air tastes like a bike chain. Cold and caustic, it coils about his neck. Steel hands chomp at the gargling shore. Water blinks, trapped inside asphalt ridges.
A drunkenness stirs; a kind of dizzying noddary. A vagrant smile flutters about his yarn-thin lips. He tries to lick away the sting of mist rising from the river’s snapping fingers.The swaddle of December wind nuzzles and kisses the little foundling’s wet, lutose face. The depths that loom beyond beckon. Only the Quiet awaits.
“I pulled out the letter. It was a receipt for putting my little dog to sleep. When I realized what they’d done, I think I screamed…I believe that this was the moment the world lost me, for pain quickly turned to fury.”
– Edward Bunker, Education of a Felon