Monday, July 20, 2015

Dead or alive

photo by Michael Beckwith

A girl at the bookstore, by the magazines
& a boy, he leaning in ready to inhale whatever
falls from her lips, her eyes
                                            full of wonder
if this might be it & already unwrapping
wedding presents, keeping a list
of who to send thank you cards,
                              complete with what they gave --

they are having sex
w/ words
                              not the rough kind, but
                              where rhythm & touch, rhythm & touch
                              rhythm & touch are pre-dominant
                              creating a loop between t(w)o          be-ings
                              letting go the reins

"and then there is toilet tag"

she says,                                          laughs
                                                        to fill the pregnant mom-

"but that is something
for only those you know intimately"
                                                                   "--awkward positions--"
"I did it with a roommate
                                she's back pedaling, trying to catch him
                                as he leans away//
                                                          distance grows

It gets away from you,
                      though you have every intension ---
until all that's left is smoke
                                                r   i   s   i   n   g,
                                                  empty track

I hopped a train once
in college - we jumped from a bridge
as it slowed to pass
                                the air pulled at us as speed picked up
                                clack-clack - clak - clak
                                clak - claklakalak, every nerve
                                ending alive, grinding metal
                                on metal
                                               the city giving way to trees,
                                               over rivers 100 feet below
                                               & you're gone

easy as that -
til you have to get off
                            before it's too far

                                                        that's when it hurts


  1. easy as that til you have to get off..that is when the ride hurts the sound of the clack-clack-clak-dak..

  2. it's so easy to run away when things get too close - i have to admit that i've done it myself a few times - it's fear - mostly - i do hope he gets off the train before it takes him somewhere he doesn't really wanna be.. very cool write sir...

  3. Life.. senses.. emotions.. passion.. when practiced freely as such regenerating creativity and imagination in all that feels and senses.. when free to balance all of it the best we can.. a mix of lust and love makes the human passion for life go 'round.. and 'round.. upside down.. in just the nick of time.. staying on train of living life.. they don't teach that in school.. it's a poetry thing.. and not the kind that queen's sing..:)

    A Lesson of life for me.. is never leave bootcamp or disco-tech.. low brow for some.. but highest inside of me.. expressed outside.. as passionate tough Unconditional LOVE!

  4. This is so sad. So many young couples start, and end, like this.

    You added a lot of details to the story by doing clever things, like ...

    "ready to inhale whatever" (like pot)
    "to fill the pregnant mom-ent" (so maybe she gets pregnant right after they get married, or right before, making things way harder on both of them)

    This started out as such an intriguing poem, but it sure ended up in a depressing place. Great work, though!

    1. Your title sent me off to listen to Bon Jovi. So thanks. :) You can never go wrong with B.J.

    2. Oh yeah, and that space in "back pedaling." Wow. That was really smart. And of course, as soon as she gives it up, he's not interested anymore.

    3. Ha. Totally intentional on the title. Best bon jovi song ever.

      The whole toilet tag conversation I overheard was one of the most awkward things ever. But I was fascinated. He.

    4. I was terrified to look it up but had a few guesses as to what it might be. My computer decided to glitch out in the middle of my search. (Maybe the information gods were trying to protect my delicate brain.) All the links that popped up said "elementary games" and such. So it must be something teenagers have twisted, distorting an originally innocent intent.

      "he leaning in ready to inhale whatever
      falls from her lips, her eyes
      full of wonder"

      It's really too bad this feeling can't be preserved. I mean, really. This is the magic of life. Just having someone think you're cool and interesting. Think back over your lifetime; the most invigorating were those during which some girl thought you were absolutely amazing, the most intriguing and interesting guy on the planet, and she was just living for your every word.

      I keep trying to teach my daughter that that's how you make good friends too. You caress their ego. You listen. You look into their eyes. People just want to be seen, heard, and loved. It's really very simple. But it happens so rarely ... because people also want to talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. Ahem. Have I mentioned that I talk too much? ;)

      What I meant to say was this: "Yes. I'm sure that WAS really awkward. (Although I would have loved it and probably interjected a few hilarious questions, 'cause that's how I roll.) And yes, Bon Jovi hung the moon, and I would lick him from head to toe if given the opportunity.

      Aren't bookstore peeps the coolest?! That is my favorite place to people watch. I always want to make friends with the young goth chicks who wander in, lookin' all bad ass and angsty.

      Oh, and P.S. Your middle-aligned mini-poem is super hot.

      So what's this prompt all about, specifically?

    5. I meet people everywhere I go. I am totally fascinated by people. Probably rude as hell, because if you are talking I am listening. Even if it is not to me. Lol.

      I agree on the way you talked to your daughter. People want to be seen and heard. Listening is a lost art. Too busy thinking of what you will say next - never taking time to digest what they are really saying.

      The same can be said of art, writing etc. But I wont go there, right now. Ha.

    6. Ditto ... to everything you said.

  5. Ah, I love this, the flirtatious-ness and the word-sex description made me feel it all over again! Delicious! Pity it all evaporates. Sometimes by a thoughtless word or action, sometimes just because. Early on we see just what we want to see and then we have the awakening, hopefully not too late. Nice write x.

  6. Coitus interruptus or jumping from a moving train. Intimate dialog not easy to watch but...everyone loves to see what we all have done as if it will return.

  7. boy, he leaning in ready to inhale whatever
    falls from her lips,

    What a passionate piece of writing, hold your breath intensity. Alive


  8. Very vivid moments here--between the almostness and the definitely not--the meeting and the jumping from the train--Yeowch! k.

  9. "laughs
    to fill the pregnant mom-
    ent"...a brilliant the end...wowzers...

  10. Your work with the metaphor keeps on getting sharper--it has reached Italian stiletto status now I think--what creates intimacy--what destroys it, what can we do except find the courage to jump and be carried?--away or closer or off into something we had no idea of when we jumped? Blown away again.

  11. Once again you catch the smoke for a moment.

  12. The parallels between the relationship/intimacy gone south and then the train ride that has to come to an end show such skill, X. I find it hard to read your work without, somewhere or other, emitting a deep sigh.

  13. You do catch the smoke in bell jar; fascinating juxtaposition from observing to participating; love your line spacing. I think I do something similar myself; letting words & lines find their own space on the page. I kept thinking of the Train goes into the Tunnel sexual analogy on the heels of the toilet tag.

  14. How wonderful it is to share your voyeurism. I like to people watch but most of the time, I'd rather just watch than listen to them. I like very much how at first you listen to the couple and from there, jump on a about seduction! Riding a metal bitch and holding on for dear life while the world speeds by and there you are, from God and those standing by the tracks to see, on your own glorious adventure and words really don't matter at this point - just the train beneath you, the sky above and you zipping through hyperspace. Way way way beyond cool.

  15. Life, love and relationships really are like a train ride - you never quite know where they'll take you and you sometimes are better off jumping off, if you can find the courage for it... A clever parallel here, playful yet also sombre...

  16. Ah, the idea of hopping a train definitely appeals to the adventurous spirit in a person. I had those fantasies a while back, and to think that you actually did it! Jumping from a bridge to catch it sounds very scary, but how exciting to really,once in a lifetime, have such a ride!

  17. There is a magnetic charm to this wonderful piece :D
    Loved it!

  18. I admire the keen eyes of someone watching a boy & girl having sex with words & then capturing the feeling of the moment when you are riding the train & about to get off ~ I think its exciting to capture these moments but one has to be careful where you land, if you decide to jump on or off it ~ (I think intension should be intention) ~

    1. Nope. He meant "in(ner)-tension." It's very clever word play. Just like "wonder" really means "one-dear" and "pre-dominant" really means "prey-dominant." Even the ending, "that's when it hurts most" embeds "that's when it hurts most [people] ... [but not us]."

  19. Yes, I hear it, see it, feel it...

  20. This is so sensual, sexy train and clash of an unpaid ride. Very cool. I've gotten used to reading your bolded letters. A poem within a poem. Nice.

  21. Love the double meaning at the ending...damn....that is most definitely when it hurts the most!

  22. The metaphor works...and works well!!

  23. Having sex with words... so dope. This reminds me of that connection, beyond fucking, beyond physical; like a constant overlap of the mind with the one... totally using that in a poem. (copyrights) haha. Sexy and rad write dude.

  24. Dead or Alive such a great title for this superior write, you know people, because you see them, you listen, they are your poetry...You see instead of just looking and that makes You one of the few who really gets it..everything, everyone constantly changes and when you don't take the time to see, you don't understand how it could not work. Because you weren't listening. You Listen and then you Write, that makes you A True Blue...with the greatest respect X

  25. I am still processing this poem, so I am still in a state of wow, but it's safe to say I love it. This is quite masterful.

    Lupe (N. FL)

  26. I really liked how the two pieces of the poem tied together... very fine.

  27. riding too far -- after trees take over for the city building -- can be troublesome

  28. A fantastic write, you took me right there, into those moments, the girl maybe trying too hard, his distancing...then the closing with the train accelerating, and that's when getting off hurts the most. Sigh. I am so there!

  29. Sensuously beautiful X! Great observation of people antics and great word-play! Girl - boy interactions with all the innocence can be intriguing!


  30. The incipient romance turned to smoke with an unfelicitous word!
    I like the adventure of the second half of the poem, but felt the ouch of the landing.