So here is the intro of a poetic short story I’m writing that will incorporate little snippets of both both punk and permie culture. I hope you enjoy it. I’ve been listening to a lot of Gogol bordello and will be going to see them in SEA this monday, extra exciting. Also doing more street art which I love.
From Sunder to Solder
Cold, metallic, morning (absent of sunflowers).
En-route to Seattle, I-5, 10:00am.
One hundred and eight cars are spinning
like high velocity marbles
indifferent to the turning leaves.
A young woman sits with a soft,
resting her chin on her palm.
Twenty two years old,
a life unscathed but much suffering.
She’s on her way to meet her brother she rarely sees,
hopeful he’s in a good mood.
Sesame stares out of the car window intently.
Her eyes, which are big and brown, swallow up entire landscapes without difficulty:
a small farm with it old barn beaten
and out of breath,
the complex mass of a radio tower
looking noisy in its silence,
a gluttonous shopping center surrounded by pariahs of parked cars
a barren field over which a hawk serenely scouts.
Disparate realities pass along with the seconds pulled effortlessly to the points of her pupils.
Sesame enjoys looking out windows.
She pretends that she can see things that other people can not see,
blinds spots of beauty,
though truly to her it’s nothing special.
Today she saw leaves….
Cold, metallic, morning.
Cars are spinning like high velocity.
Crowds come and go without direction.
Well groomed men, women, and children
(some with faces as blank as spoons or spatulas)
pass by with their respective shopping bags near Pike’s Place.
In the chilly air the occasional cry of a seagull
and the steady beat of a bucket drum float about,
On the streets sky blue puddles fill to the brim with clouds.
Marcus leans on a frigid granite bank
smoking a rolled cigarette,
his shoes are worn and patched with bits of duct tape,
his eyes are narrowed in scrutiny,
beneath his black hooded sweetshirt marked by little decorative patches
all on can see
was a small,
Marcus is angry,
Marcus is hungry,
Marcus is broke, and angry, and hungry again….
and this made him even angrier.
It was not so much the experience of being broke and hungry
that made him so upset,
but a hidden shame of being broke and hungry that roiled his blood,
and which he hid inside himself
like a disease.
A part of himself knew that there was no reason to be ashamed.
“So what if I’m broke and hungry, I have a job now don’t I, isn’t that enough?” he consoled himself
“This city was made more for tourist than for residents, it’s disgusting! What do I have to prove to it.”
“What’s so terribly wrong with a broke and hungry man?”
Even so, his frown
like a child’s fist.
Cold, metallic, morning.
The crowds came and went without direction
indifferent to the turning leaves,
and on the street sky blue puddles fill to the brim with clouds.
Springtime robins burst
through shafts of light seemingly solid
under a sky as open and infinite as the
Laughter tickles on the tongue and
dribbles effortless through eyes.
The day was ripe and juicy as a pear
and smelled of sweet work.
The wind is playing with the leaves gently like they are her children.
A man leans on hoe surveying his garden handy-work.
His hands are blistered,
and his red face,
but his mouth holds a hearty smile.
He seems quintessentially happy.
The plot was small,
the cynical would say pitiful,
Levi thought it beautiful,
and had neatly sewn his heart into this space and the stability of the work.
There was just enough sunlight,
just enough shade,
just enough rain,
and just enough room,
but “just enough” is the make up of miracles.
Squeezed unmercifully between two callous buildings,
(concerned only with their commerce)
which had long ago abandoned them; in all its history this little patch of dirt had never know a love like his. This ground he had touched gently like the way one holds someone’s baby.
He had carefully massaged all the construction ruble from its bounds.
Painstakingly, he had combed out the glass shards and rock with surgical assurance.
Delicately he picked up needles,
plucked up rusted metal,
coaxed out oil spills,
Next, Levi carried sheets of rich loamy soil and blankets of moist mulch.
Plastic barrels and tires held planted potatoes and turnips.
Salvaged decorative gates kept out unwanted animals.
From a toilet overflowed a fern,
from a sink sprang strawberries.
Old Pop bottles became converted bird feeders complete with humming birds darting to and fro in complex territorial warfare. With bits of brick ruble Levi had formed meandering paths, each one spiraling around the natural contours of the grounds so that in the areas that naturally formed puddles there were small, intricate, reflecting pools. PVC piping stood upright filled with soil and cut with little openings made small havens for a variety of herbs such as rosemary, chives, and calendula. Verdant baskets filled with tubers and bulbs hung from the bottoms of fire escapes and drainpipes and flowering vines crept up old electrical wiring. From a city whose most common scent is car exhaust here wafted the sweet exotic smell of jasmine. In this miniature paradise made of the cast off and neglected
nothing was forgotten,
Levi ran a dirty hand through his dirty blond hair and took a minute to breath and check his watch. Sweat peaked in droplets on the edges of his high cheekbones.
Time to cry.
He got down on his knees and hugged his stomach.
“I don’t have to do this, it’s not helping anything or anyone, someday soon I’ll stop for good”.
“Oh heart! How can I make you healthy again, don’t you see the sun shining, can’t you hear the robins, the universe is whispering your name, the light from supernovas past leaps across unthinkable space to kiss you brow, but here you are too busy with your sorrows to notice.”
Every Wednesday for thirty three consecutive Wednesdays at around 2pm Levi would cry,
not a howling or wailing cry,
but a cry born out of lonesomeness.
Levi’s Lonesomeness was as complex and rich as the loam he was building in the garden.
A lonesomeness that was fermented and rank with desperate odors.
It began with the taste of his own lack of companionship, a taste haunted with bitter histories of break-ups, walk-outs, give-ins, and not too long ago a death. Next, it moved into his throat and pulled at his breath like a gasp. Here the flavors held the residue off all those sentences we keep sealed up; messages in bottles destined not to ever reach any shore.
Each message was distinct:
for the old woman on the bus alone,
for the child that only wants us to know it’s there,
for the old man to pour his wisdom on,
for all that feel unacceptable,
for all those who feel unlovable,
pain never expressed,
forgiveness that never came.
These messages or there absence created a vacuum and this vacuum ended in his stomach
In his stomach it stayed solid as a rock.
This rock was painfully graphed onto his skeleton and he could feel it below his sternum.
It was from this place that he cried.
And when it was done, it was done, and a small smile of relief would cautiously emerge on his face.
Levi picks up his shovel.
He resumes working.
The wind plays with the leaves,
like they are her children.
But, inside the rock stayed.
The bar room where Jasmine had worked for three years was a single neon sign,
glowing inside your gut,
(abscent of sunflowers)
shining some gaudy florescent pink or orange
on all those unsightly things you never wanted to know about yourself.
And the patrons all came like moths from the darkness
with cigarettes in their mouths,
and round poignant bits of
loneliness for eyes.
Some were friends,
some were strangers,
some were strangers taken as friends,
and some were friends taken for strangers.
All were lost or losing.
Three years is a long time to live in a city that feeds fanatically on greed.
Now, was Jasmine’s chance to run away from this million megawatt monster.
Las Vegas gleefully murdered
then gilded it in gold,
and hung on the mantel.
It had never learned the word innocence and love was a four letter world only heretically spoken.
It cut the sin out of sincerity
and later charged you extra for it.
Neon nightmares crash through fixed pupils
(scenes that could move one to tears
if only there was enough room left in your eyes to cry).
The circus master doesn’t tame the lions here anymore
he just lets them run lose.
Jasmine observed the restless hoards saunter up and down the strip.
Their tired joints obligingly helped them scamper across the pavement
in order to feed on some carnal desire
or the 12.95$ prime rib buffet.
Open all night every night,
never any need to turn out the lights.
If no one here could save themselves from mindless self indulgence
you can’t expect anyone to bother to save electricity.
Look out for the glitz!
Watch out for the blitz!
If it knocks you down and out you’ll see stars (but don’t worry their not real).
Men grinning like wild stray dogs.
Women wearing layer upon layer of macabre make up,
-plastic faces in the night-
giving them the most chic expression of indifference money could buy.
“What are they hiding underneath such ghostly masks?” Jasmine asked,
“I guess they must think it’s not sexy”.
Ahead parents lead their young children through a gauntlet of hustlers
flipping pornographic cards at passer-bys for erotic escorts and dancers.
The cards litter the streets so that even the cement is trying to sell something to you.
All evening long
workers from the Casinos will be sweeping up these very same cards,
in a bizarre and wasteful parasitic relationship.
A few homeless folk are out spangin’ the streets,
their quiet eyes are full
with wino witchcraft, (yearning for change that can’t be found in pockets)
the pit boss kicks out a noisey drunk,
his jowels quiver
and his teeth
grit angry indignation.
The new dancer spreads her limbs,
her suductive movements
false allure, (never does she look up when grabbing a bill)
the tourists pick over cheap trinkets
the lines on their face
marked blandly with
the confident gambler quickly shuffles her chips
her slender digits are
flirting nervoulsly, (disaster is more than just a bad hand)
the cabbie picks up some loud party goers,
his laughter is seemingly all
in good humor.
Who are the actors if everyone is acting?
Is it theater if everyone is trapped by their own theatrics?
The restless throngs sauntered up and down the strip.
Tired limbs obligingly help them scamper across the cement.
All are lost or losing.
Jasmine’s bus pulled away bound for Portland with a meloncoly schreech of relief.
It was the first night she had seen the stars in months.