There is sitting in a subway station,
A man without no legs,
Says time is coming to an end,
And nothing is left to beg.
There is a woman who gropes at darkness,
Because she has gone blind,
Yet she does not remain heartless,
The chicken crosses before the egg,
Gone in a way are morels, gone are the old ways of life,
But since when did the future care about what was past and strife?
THE WORLD TEETERS INTO SALVATION OR OBLIVION
and yet all will carry on,
how jazz and love, alcohol, cigarettes and fire,
winks, and pills, and snowboarding,weapons wisdom, and wit
windows, soundboards, and violins,
arise from dirt and spit.
Into where this fucked up train rides us, I don’t know where
But i know that there is denied us the ability to say no,
that there is strength in endurence
That there is grace in keeping faith,
that wherever the world lands us, that it wil lead us to some welcomed fate,
Who knows what will or may not be
when the pall of eventide rises
when the seas boil over, and the sun no longer arises,
when the earth implodes and all the fish are dead
and all the dogs, cats, and wombats are gone
Who knows what endless silence will overtake
Because all we are is fire, and a song.
Here I am.
There you are.
Am I alone again?
A point in space so far.
Fuck your pre-conditions.
I love who you are.
But I was born to suffer.
To watch with wisdom from afar,
I don’t ask for anything,
I wished my destiny so,
And now I pile drive myself,
into the warm earth below.
I had been waiting for nearly two hours at the bar. The image on the photo in my pocket was all I was concerned with, but time tends to ebb one’s focus, especially after a cocktail or three. Yet, I pride myself on focus. I could see the whole restaurant from here, the cars outside the big windows on the other side of the raised dinning area. The brass bars shinning in the dim yellow light. The patrons come and go.
It was nearly eleven when the shape that had been leaning over the end of the bar all night finally said something.
“Fine times such as these eh Mel?”
I didn’t know who Mel was, and I certainly didn’t answer the shape at the end of the bar until I glanced over and saw that it was talking to me.
The man wore a large green overcoat, the kind with the separate stitching over the shoulders and buttons along the upper back. It was rough and, although it still retained it’s structural integrity, it was well worn and frayed around the ends of the sleeves. His hands were knotted bulbous things. One wrenched around his current tumbler glass of amber whiskey. The other hung down on the other side of the bar. The bartender had stopped telling him to stay on his side nearly an hour ago. The man’s face was covered with facial hair somewhere between a beard and a five o’ clock shadow. His eyes were dark under his low hat in the dim light of the corner.
What I could make out was his drunken smile. It was wide, and in complete contrast to his unkempt features, his teeth were as pearly as the queen’s necklace. I could tell he was looking at me because of a small twinkle under the black brim of the hat.
I looked back around the bar. The tobacco smoke drew a dim haze over all senses. The yellowed light sconces fell across the raised dining area. No one of interest was there yet. Carousers and late night flapper types laughed and gossiped in the booths.
I almost feigned that I had not heard him, I am by no means a good man by the moral standpoint of society, in all honesty, however, despite that fact, I felt a strange pity and interest in why I had become Mel.
“Excuse me?” I said, pulling out my silver cigarette case and leaning slightly towards him into the space of the red leather bar stool between us.
The grungy man took a deep sip of whiskey and placed it down.
“Fine times eh? Just like Puerto Rico.” he said, his gravely voice.
I smiled and lit my cigarette. “Quite.” I said letting him play out whatever drunken memory he had cropped up.
“You remember that joke I came up with?”
I took a pull and exhaled towards the ceiling. “I can’t really remember.” I said “You’ll have to regale me.”
He took another sip of whiskey and flapped his hand at me. “Oh comon Mel.”
“No really. it’s been some time.”
He chuckled to himself. “Alright. How many fucks does it take to turn on a light bulb?”
I thought for a moment. “How many?” I asked.
“Beats me” he said “But it only takes one to get it off!”
He laughed in short bursts and fits, slamming his hand against the bar in self satisfaction. I chuckled.
I glanced back to the dining area. The door on the far end opened. In came the familiar face I remembered from the photograph. He staggered in, drunk, but not quite as drunk as the woman draped around him. He swung a long chain around attached to his hip. The watch.
I decided it would be good to keep up an appearance for a little longer.
I hailed the barkeep over who was until this point chatting up a group of girls at the far end of the bar. He came over and I ordered a whiskey. “Tell me about Puerto Rico” I said to the man next to me.
he took another draw of whiskey and looked over. “How could you forget Puerto Rico Mel?”
“My memory ain’t what it used to be.” I said.
He looked forward into the dark glass behind the bar. Our reflections were lost and warped in it. He held the far away look of a lost soul. For all purposes he was. Another drunk swilling his way into oblivion. But how many conversations does he have anymore? How many people are fed up with being called Mel? fed up with hearing about Puerto Rico?
“It was hell Mel. We were still in the Corps, trying to keep the Haitian’s safe. After the shit they went through to try to get to the US. Then they get stuck there. I remember the gunfire coming in from the streets. God those Portoricans hated the Hatians. We were just in the middle.”
“It was some shit wasn’t it?” I said.
“Stupid was what it was.”
The man’s stare didn’t move as he downed the whiskey.
I said nothing. What could I say?
I muttered a “It sure was.” and turned back to the dinning area. The man did not respond.
The fellow from the photograph sat in a booth near the front. He was wearing a pin-striped caribbean-blue suit. It shined like linoleum along with his orange tie. The woman draped around him was in all white with blonde hair and goo goo eyes. I could make out his cut jaw and thin nose as he pushed a menu into the flabbergasted waiter’s arms. He was waving his free arm around and making a show of importance. I could tell why he had so many enemies.
From my visage at the corner of the bar with the shapely (rounded) veteran, I was invisible to him. He was in his own arrogant world. No danger existed in his life, none of the people he should have been keeping an eye on were planning his demise. It was like watching a fly land on a Venus fly trap and amble lazily between it’s deadly jaws. I took another draw on my cigarette as my whiskey approached from the other end of the bar. I regarded him carefully. More than once I saw a glance fall on me when he thought I wasn’t looking. I didn’t leave it to chance. I wasn’t a regular here, and It wasn’t quite so clear who could be trouble.
I’ve killed a fair number of people in my time. It is after all my profession. Not in a grizzly way or a morbid way. I just did what I needed to. I never picked sides, I never regretted, I never questioned how fate would be changed by my actions, I am a force of nature more than a mortal man. Sure I am a man, but what I do is simply a fact of life. We all die. I’ve done it all from stabbing someone through the throat to gunning one fellow down as he was leaving a church. It’s all for money. I’m not always happy with what I do, but hell, who is happy with their job? I am the fly trap, whoever lands in my jaws, well.
That fly happened to be wearing a caribbean blue suit with a linoleum orange tie.
I nursed my whiskey and felt the wave of excitement come over me. It’s so close to fear sometimes I forget, but I kind of enjoy fear as well. Waiting to make a kill is like preparing to skip rope on the moon. You can’t ever be ready for how it’s going to go. You can’t ever know what might happen. You can only stick to what you play out in your mind as close as you can. think of everything that could happen and if it happens it happens.
My muscles always tense, I feel my gun like a cinder block in the small of my back. I watch the target’s movements like I imagine a jaguar might watch a gazelle. My jungle is the city.
I let him finish his cocktail and I finished mine. He began groping the girl he was with, and I stood. I grasped the handle of my pistol and slid across the room. Around the tables, carousers, and flapper types.
I grasped a glass from a table of drunks and stepped up to the raised dinning area. I moved down each booth and saw her ankles sticking out at the end. There was a lace anklet on her left leg. She had Caribbean blue shoes on. I could hear his voice, telling some antidote about how he broke someone’s legs.
“- he was squealin’ on the ground so bad, I told him “SHUT THE FUCK UP” and he wouldn’t listen. So I-”
He stopped when i rounded the booth. I pretended to be a friendly drunk.
“Hey” I said staggering “You guys seem like you really know how to party” i fell onto their table and knocked the untouched complementary glass of water across the wood and onto that stupid suit. The material soaked and he stood up quicker than I expected.
“WHAT THE FUCK” He said, throwing the girl off of him presenting himself to me with his chest out. “Do you have any Idea what this suit cost me?!”
The patrons near us stopped talking and watched.The girl looked up at me and then back to the man with wide eyes.
“Ten cents?” I said and grasped my pistol. I pulled it out from the small of my back and brought it around in full view of his wide open chest. A shot rang out. I pulled the trigger.
The bullet clipped him through the shoulder. He fell back.
That’s when I felt the pain. The impact of the metal on my ribs wasn’t felt at all, but the white hot burning was inside my chest.
I looked over and saw the man at the end of the bar. He held a small pistol.
“Are you alright Johnny!?” He called.
I felt myself fall to the ground. I felt pain and cold blood leaking. I felt like a fly.
Giant Monster ahead
Low Flying Superheros
Silent shifting among the brambled infrastructure,
Grey and green illumine along striking reds and fast yellows,
Walls with eyes rise ever ever into the full fading sky:
The daily grey, Nighttime’s orange glow.
The hot wind directs through channels,
Sulfur exhaust oxide methl detra decamine.
It spreads its vines and with mashing bashing cutting digging claws,
It pulls the earth towards it.
The great Malignin.
The Abscess of Humanity.
The culmination of culture, the gasious mix of all creeds and nations in torrid chaotic harmony.
A man stands at the ledge of the fifty seventh floor,
A woman wears a trashbag,
A man conducts a symphony,
A woman buys a coffee,
A man puts on makeup,
A woman looses her mind,
People aggragate and disperse.
Those you know and see again
Those you’ve never met and see over and over.
It was a clear day. The boulevard was bustling in the midday traffic of cars and commuters. One figure waited at the top of the arch on the texico bridge. She sat on a green metal bench looking over James river barges. The calm waves caught the sun and light reflected from the buildings on either side.
She wore a long black coat and nursed a coffee as she looked over the water in the cradling sound of buses, footsteps, and jabbering people. Her steely grey eyes scanned through the scene before her. A lone cloud drifted far off over the ocean beyond the buildings.
Her track phone buzzed in her back left pocket. She produced it and looked at the message.
“Now” was all it said.
She sighed and stood up, finished her coffee and walked towards the railing. The water was far below. A barge passed beneath her and disappeared under the bridge. She put her coffee down on the railing, lifted her foot up and jumped. The traffic behind her seemed not to notice as the waves rushed up to her. She straightened herself out and felt the impact of the water like concrete.
She felt herself immersed below the waves. Her black coat and red hair drifting above her She looked up to see the rippling wold she left and then down to the floor. The James river was hazy, but her eyes closed.
When they reopened, a fine film covered her lenses and the water was clear as day.
Her body was not too badly hurt. She would have some bruises, but it was nothing she couldn’t fix. Her coat wrapped around her and became an outer layer of skin. Three fine slits opened on her ribs and she drew in a clammy breath of oxygen. Gills always freaked her out, but it was better than drowning.
A large mass glided beneath her. It was dark, and hummed quietly as it slid through the water below.
She pushed towards it with her hands and kicked with her feet. With each push she gained more power as they transformed into great fins, catching all the water she could. The sound of the water moving around her ears and the hum of the submarine’s engines were all that came to her as she moved. her body was one with he medium of locomotion. She moved like an otter towards the nearing machine.
It loomed, head on before her, and she made towards it. The submarine pushed through the water with power and when they neared, she was forced over the top. She let the current slide her over the body of the ship. The tower neared her and she grabbed hold of an antenna as it came up to her. Her hands changed and she pulled her way down towards the airlock door at the top of the tower.
With suctioned feet she positioned herself over the door and twisted the wheel above the cover. There was a muffled click through the water and the door flew open in a burst of water. She slipped inside with the sudden suction of water and closed the door behind her.
The alarms were blaring within the confines of the sub, but muffled by the water in the airtight chamber. The sudden whirring of machines did not affect her as the room began to drain of water. Her form shifted back into that of the red haired woman with the long black coat and glasses. The water dipped below her neck and she took in a breath of air from her nose in preparation. The last of the water was sucked away except for the thin stagnant puddles on the metal floor.
Her eyes flashed under her brow as the metal door in front of her Slid suddenly down.
Two men in green kayaks stood at the threshold. One carried a toolbox while the other sported a sub machine gun. They both were surprised to see the woman standing there.
She brushed off her black coat and said nothing.
The man with the SMG raised it up and moved towards her. “Who are you! How did you get in here?” he said in challenge.
“My name is Adalie” she quietly said.
The man grabbed her by the collar, aiming the gun up against her stomach. He hoisted her ahead of him and swiftly pushed her ahead and through the threshold into the red-lit diving room.
“Radio the bridge.” the man with the gun said to the mechanic. The mechanic put his box down and went to an intercom on the wall. We’re gonna take a trip to the bridge to see what the captain want’s to do with you.”
Adalie said nothing and quietly moved down the corridor with the man’s wishes.
The Mechanic with the toolbox clicked the button on the intercom.
“Intruder sighted and captured, moving to the bridge.” He said and let the button un-click for a pause.
“Rodger” a crackly voice responded through the speaker after a few moments. “Proceed and bring the prisoner to Block B”
The guard lead her through a maze of small red lit corridors lined with pipes and valves. Here and there a work station would be illuminated with blue light around computers. The maze continued until they came before a door with blue stenceled letters marked BLOCK B. Adalie would not have been able to find it withought the guard’s help.
The door opened after a moment and the guard pushed her inside. Adalie felt the gun pressing into her back. Before her was a man in a long bottle green coat looking at a series of monitors . His hair flared up on either side of his head and he tilted his head to the side.
“How did you get in here?” he said as the door closed behind Adalie and the guard.
Adalie said nothing. But waited.
The guard pressed the gun hard into her back. “ANSWER!” he said. But at that moment his face contorted into stark disbelief. The gun was being absorbed into her back. Through the black coat like some kind of amorphis liquid.
“Wha-” the guard began to say until a long silver spike grew quickly out from Adalie’s elbow through the man’s jaw and head before silently sliding back in.
“It’s best you answer my question or-” the captain said as he turned. He beheld the sight of the guard falling to the ground and blood pooling quickly around his gruesome head wound. The SMG he formally held emerged from Adalie’s chest and into her steady hands.
“WHAT WHAT ARE YOU!” the captain stammered.
“I am Adalie.” said Adalie. Before her human hand twitched the trigger back. A hail of bullets riddled the captain through his gut, through his hair, through his bottle green coat. A hail of bullets riddled through the monitors in great electric arcs accompanied small pooping explosions.
The man fell against the console and the screens fizzed out leaving nothing but running blood and electronic smoke.
Adalie dropped the SMG and stepped calmly over to the console. She threw the captain to the ground with a dead thud. She reached out her hand into the console and began to shift her hand. She felt the inner workings of the Electrical systems, the digital pathways, the information stored there. The armed missals in the bay awaiting orders.
She deactivated the arming codes and her hand slithered through the circuits and wiring until she found the internet relay. She pressed her arm further into the computers and felt her fingertips as digital information sent to space and back down to wherever the secure server was.
“A proxy” she said. The server relayed and relayed until she was certain where the signal came from. She was halfway into the computer before she grasped hold of the information on the elusive hard drive. She pulled it out, creating a 64 megabyte SD card next to her heart to store the information. Her arm acted like a siphon, bringing the code back into herself.
When complected she proceeded to then pull back and send a message to her employer.
There was a pause.
Was the reply.
It needed no further explanation. She redirected the path of the submarine, re-armed the missiles and set them to self destruct and withdrew from the computer.
the door opened. Seven guards were at the door. Adalie changed into a fox and bounced around the cabin as bullets flew around the interior. She was agile and darted beneath them around the bullets. The guard in front tracked her with her SMG in frustration, holding the trigger down. Adalie darted through the other guards as the one in front fired into them at point blanc. The sounds of them faded back as Adalie stretched her legs out and ran back through the maze she had recalled from before.
Alarmed crewmen jumped back or looked perplexed to see an animal running through the sub.
She made her way back to the airlock. Returned to her human shape and opened the airlock. Guards pounded down the hallway towards her. the door opened slowly. She turned back to see one unexpected crewmen fire a pistol at her with a pop. The bullet ricocheted across her ribs. She winced in pain before becoming a bolt of pure energy. She bounced down the hallway towards the crewman who fired his remaining six shots in panic before being evaporated by Adalie.
The door fully opened and she jumped inside closing the airlock and awaited it to fill with water. She tapped her foot.
“I don’t have time for this.” she said as the water rose.
There was a halt in the whirring machinery. the water began to descend once more. The guards were trying to keep her from getting away.
“Forget this” She said before mustering all her ability and becoming electricity.
She shot up along the metal walls and radiated herself out into the water. Re-congealed, with gills and all, and swam back to the surface of the James river.
The sub exploded far below the surface and a shock wave ripped through the current until a great splash emitted from the water.
Adalie smiled and pulled herself out of the water on a nearby jetty.
She assumed her form as the red haired girl with the long coat and black framed glasses. Walked to the base of the Jetty, onto the street, down the corner to a small cafe. A man sat there.
“Your late.” he said, smiling.
“Sorry John. I had some business call come in.” she said, kissing her boyfriend and taking her seat across from him on the bistro.
“I ordered for you. Where do you work anyway?” John said. “You never told me.”
“Oh it’s boring office work.” She said just as the waiter came out with two cocktails.
“For Madame and Monsieur we have a-” The waiter in all his elegance tripped over a loose cobblestone. John moved to keep him from falling over the table. The drinks began to fall, yet Adalie stretched her arms and caught both of the glasses in her hands just before they spilled. John laughed and the waiter said “My apologies.”
Thats when they noticed the unspilled beverages.
“Wow. Good reflexes for an office jockey.” Said john
Once upon a time there was a fly. Her name was Peppermint. She was called so because, while the other flies would fly around trash or honey, Peppermint would look only for smells that followed her namesake. This made Peppermint a bit of an outcast among the other flies despite the fact that flies don’t really have any “castes” to be “outed” from. It seemed that, though having no organized or structured society among them, the other flies would particularly drive her away from the proper places a fly should frequent. They would buzz loudly and swoop down at Peppermint. Around rotting corpses or dung piles, they would regard her with contempt. When eating dripping honey, they would try to push her off. they would even move the other side of the puke puddle.
Peppermint didn’t really mind the other flies very much. She knew that because she liked peppermint so much, while the other flies loathed the smell, that she would never really get along with them. It was a fortunate tradeoff because Peppermint the fly didn’t really like anything but Peppermint. So she wandered from peppermint smell to peppermint smell, totally alone.
She would find old mints that were stuck to the bottoms of tables. She would dine elegantly on a discarded thin mint or an unguarded after dinner wafer with no care or qualm. Her life was all she ever wanted: Peppermint after Peppermint.
It wasn’t until that fateful day (a week after her birth) when she had found herself flying in through the open window of a collage common room. The other flies were happily gorging on crumbs, scraps, particulates, uncleaned spills, and pieces of ginger on one side of the dinning table while on the other side some grubby teenagers watched internet videos back to back of people doing things outside.
It was dark, dingy, and warm inside. The perfect atmosphere for her kind. Peppermint was immediately hit with a myriad of smells and stenches that had never been in the same place at the same time before. She was overwhelmed. She flew around in circles landing on ginger, on the scraps, and crumbs, sampling each of them. Yet none of the food there satisfied her cravings. She decided it would be best to leave to find something with the peppermint she so loved.
Yet when she flew towards the bright sky, she was shocked to run headlong into an invisible barrier. She flew again and again towards the sky but each time was met with the invisible wall. Peppermint the fly grew frustrated and worried that she would be forever trapped in a world without the joys of peppermint again.
The teenagers took no notice of her and tried to ignore the other flies as well which made it to their side of the room frequently and landed on their computer screen. They were becoming a nuisance, interrupting their videos of skydiving, rock climbing and mountain biking. There were a total of seven flies around them at the last straw when one of them said to the others.
“We need to do something about these flies”
The other students agreed.
“I heard flies hate peppermint” Said one of the teenagers before she stood and left. The others watched the screen. The flies buzzed around them and landed on the computer, blocking fly sized pieces of the the action shots.
The student returned from the hallway after a moment with a small bottle. It said on the side: “Peppermint spray body and facial wash”. She sprayed the spray around the computer and the flies fled in disgust. Peppermint on the other hand, stopped smashing against the window. It was the smell she so enjoyed.
She buzzed across the room at a blistering pace. Her wings beat quickly across the air and landed among the smell. It wasn’t until she landed on the smooth surface that she realized there was no food there. The surface was black. Peppermint was discouraged. It took a moment. Then the world erupted in color and sound. Great blues and warm sunshine. Great ocean waves rose above her and although she was not flying or moving, she seemed to slide along them. The great scene played out before her spanning far below and high above.
The spray of peppermint smell encouraged her as each wave brought her up, and where she stood on the screen, it felt as though the great and vast ocean beyond was pushing her along. A surfer crused next to her, wiping back and forth across the wave until it crashed and they slid together along the placid water. And then, just like that, another wave would be beginning and the thrill repeated once more. Peppermint marveled and awed at the great world she had stumbled into.
It was in that moment she had one desire beyond the thing that she was named for and that was surfing.
Of course peppermint had no idea what real surfing was. Her idea of surfing was what she was doing just then. Standing as the images swooshed and swept around her.
That didn’t stop her from hanging ten.