Monthly Archives: January 2013

henry and ralph.

EXT. CONCORD. RALPH’S PORCH. — DAY

HENRY and RALPH stand at sunset looking out over the landscape.

RALPH
I think you might be gay.

HENRY
What?

RALPH
I think you might be gay.

HENRY
Do you have any documentation on that?

RALPH
Ever heard of Warren Zevon?

HENRY
Yeah. “Werewolves of London.”

RALPH
No. Not that Warren Zevon. There’s a different one. He writes for the Improper Bostonian.

HENRY
No. Never heard of him.

RALPH
Well he wrote a piece in 1995 exploring sexuality among New England writers of the mid-19th-century. Your name came up.

HENRY
Really. Who else?

RALPH
Nathaniel.

HENRY
That is some kind of bullshit. Nate couldn’t pass for gay if he fucked Congress. Anyone else?

RALPH
Emily —

HENRY
Well, DUH.

RALPH
Hey! She had that torrid affair with what’s-his-face —

HENRY
Yeah, through the mail. Doesn’t count.

RALPH
And you?

HENRY
I’m no lesbian.

RALPH
Funny. Seriously.

HENRY
“Trust thyself—every heart vibrates to that iron string.” Or some shit like that.

RALPH
Don’t quote me at me. But I see your point.

They are silent. An airplane flies overhead.

Nightstand

Bedside sentry, guardian of my dreams,
nocturnal furniture, wooden lamp stool,
condom cabinet. I have a habit
of forgetting you exist, which is, I
admit, blasphemous, because you are the
God of Holding Water, Keeper of my
Pre-Sleep Reading, and my life would be bare
without you there beside me (as would that
patch of carpet next to my bed—heaven
forbid we throw the flow of the whole room
off by your absence). You are beautiful,
and brown, and expensive, and essential,
so don’t let the other furniture pieces
put you down ’cause you’re not from Ikea.

The End Of The Story

The story is a building and I take the elevator to the seventh floor, the seventh story. I knock on her door but there’s no answer and I’m too impatient now, too energized, thriving on adrenaline, and of course I have the keys, so I unlock the door and step into her story, her world, where she lives.

It’s not a bedroom or a living space, like many of the stories in the building. Instead I find myself standing in an alleyway behind what looks to be an old fashioned movie theatre. It’s certainly not what I expected to find, but the setting doesn’t matter either way because once I find her we can leave this place and build a whole new story on our own.

She steps out into the street, all dolled up in soft subtle makeup. She wears a short fringe dress and pearl necklace, her raven hair done up with a feather and a silk scarf flowing across her exposed clavicle; the design is exotic, expensive, like nothing I’ve ever seen, and the scarf seems to go on for miles. She walks arm-in-arm with a handsome man dressed dapper in a business suit, with golden cufflinks and a silk tie. A little boy walks in front of them. He’s eight years old, or ten, I can’t decide. He has the same raven hair as Mary Sue, and the features of his face are just like the man beside her.

She has a family. I never knew she had a family. A child. A life. She never told me her story. How could she keep that a secret from me, after all I’ve done for her? After everything we’ve shared?

I feel the betrayal boiling inside of me and as I clench my fists in rage I notice something cold and hard between my fingers. I look down and realize that I’m holding a gun, an M1911 .45 caliber pistol, or maybe a six-shooter, I can’t decide, with a Russian name emblazoned on its side. It’s the same gun I stole, the one that was meant for her, and I realize that I never changed the story after all. Everything that’s happened, it was all part of the story. This was always how it was going to go, and it doesn’t affect me either way. I’m just doing my job.

Mary Sue looks up to see me standing in their path, the shock and surprise spilling all across her pretty face. I take a step forward, my left foot splashing in a well-placed puddle. She throws her arms up in surrender. I hear her say something and it sounds like it could have been my name, as if I ever had one. So I point the pistol, pull the trigger, tell the story. The hammer flies forward, knocks the bullet down the barrel, a small explosive force that sends it coursing through the air and through her chest. It shatters her necklace and I watch the string of pearls as they fall to the ground. I let off another shot just to be safe and then turn my attention towards her husband. I pull the trigger three more times and watch as the young boy falls to his knees. He sits in a puddle of blood and cries, cradling his mother’s lifeless body. I drop the gun and escape down the alleyway, back into the building, into nothingness, leaving the boy to deal with the damage and live out the story all alone.

Mary Sue was the only person who ever showed any interest in me, ever believed in me, believed that I could be a story. She was right, and so I shot her dead, just because the story demands it. I thought I made a choice and saved her life, but it turns out that I’ve just been a story all along. I guess that means I finally got what I wanted, although it didn’t turn out quite the way I’d planned. It may not be a happy ending, but it is The End, and if nothing else, at least I’ll be remembered.

I think Father would be proud of that.

To the Ball

Intentionality determined, auspiciously derailed. She noticed the photograph on his desk, and nodded carefully, yet quickly, along to everything he said. She first counted the inches between them, then the miles, but at no point the years. Glances: up at his computer screen, down between her fingers. Taps with which the seal would break.

Other: NSFT

I hate road performing. You know this. But I just had to bite the ammo and take care of some business at a restaurant tonight. And I gotta say: it was probably the best, most fulfilling poop I’ve ever had. Certainly the best experience I’ve had in an away game. In, out, and still feeling refreshed over an hour later. I even had dessert.

Sorry, this is gross. You were the person I could tell these things about. Figured you wouldn’t mind hearing it. Or at least you’d understand that there’s no one else I could tell.

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Brunch

This restaurant offers “Thai fusion” by night
but this morning it’s Eggs Benedict.
It arrives cold, no melon on the side
but I’m in no mood to nitpick.
 
You’re sitting across this huge table from me.
Last night’s romp seems like light years away.
Our tongues were in places no tongues ought to be,
but now we have nothing to say.
 
Trolls with jackhammers are inside my head
and they’ve all got verbal diarrhea.
Would that I could have just stayed in your bed
but this seemed like a good idea.
 
You’re making vague plans for an actual date,
but who are you trying to fool?
When this meal is done and when they’ve cleared our plates,
you’ll run from me as from a ghoul.
 
And then I’ll go home and burrow on my couch
with nothing to do but to think.
But by evening I may not feel so much a slouch,
and I’ll pour myself something to drink.

Snow in the Wharf

The Earth has summoned snow
Not sent as from above
Called as from below

The Captain on the boat
Warm in his knit sea hat
Called aloud to gloat
To those who didn’t know:

Attention all clouds!
Snow is in session!
Time now to release
Flakes in your possession

We gather today
On this a cold morn
So that mittens are worn
So that snowmen are born

Who but the sheep
Of the fields and the hill
Will donate their wool
To keep us from chill?

And what but the mittens
We make from the wool
Will we do with the wool?
You did gather wool?

Oh, you didn’t?
Did you buy leather gloves?
I’ve summoned the snow
To Earth from above

It’s gonna get cold
So wear a tight scarf
Attention all clouds!
Not much rhymes with scarf.