kid on halloween

Reaching for pulp in the pumpkin. Adults are huge with long arms and legs. Telling you what not to do. Tom and Jerry. Oriental rugs. Big painted doors and backlit doorbells. Holding sweaty hands. Candles in lanterns and long shadows cast by the moon.  Itchy Fuzzy sweaters. Yelling Trick or Treat!

ghost story

i had gone to the back of the room and left them telling their stories one by one with seldom an interruption. the voices gave warmth to a cool autumn morning while the delta breeze slid soundlessly across the train tracks and the torn upholstery of abandoned cars to the branches of the trees tapping on the glass all around us to get in.

i poured myself a mug of hot coffee and stirred in a bit of sugar, standing there with my back to them, listening half-heartedly and somewhere between consciousness and last night’s dream.

after a few hearty slugs of the black stuff my eyes woke up first and stared into a congregation of uneven framed black and white portraits from times before now. century old tired and long faces looked back at me and over my shoulder as if they were part of our gathering in this old meeting
hall, a former nondescript bar once with billiards for the truck drivers and laborers in the yards.

i felt a chill carry over the nape of my neck as i realized i had become some medium some conduit between my audience hung by nails alongside coffee mugs on the wall, and the living boisterous
true fellowship behind us. i stood perfectly still then

turned to see the speaker at the head of the table, an older gentleman with a way about him and expressions i would not forget to remember him by. as i turned slowly back my eyes getting larger to see, alighted on an old rusted peg, the visage of the living man! he was silent yearning to be free, framed right there before me… and in small white numerals in the corner of the photograph… i read in disbelief the year! it was 1923.

swallow

Some kinda store. Little Bit took off as much as she could chew. What was her purpose so to do. The red book back was broken and quite mostly paper-maiche. In look, not essence. Essentially a book and no longer readable. Tragic, were it not for the hope of recyclables. Postconsumer waste repurposed, like even after she got through mashin’ the shit out of it, too! Who? Little Bit, pumpkin shopping in September, true true.

time slapped me

time slapped me an hour

Halloween was over and I was feelin pretty dismal, cause I had gone to the store yesterday and bought ten whole candy bars which i put in the freezer for the kids or myself, depending on if i got any trick or treaters, and it was over and ten candy bars were still in my freezer. The funny thing is, some kids had come banging on up the stairs and knocking on my door. Sounded like a whole busload of them. But the timing was simply atrocious. I mean, I had woken up a half hour earlier from a nap, and it takes me at least forty-five minutes to really be awake, my meds have to kick in and all that, and for sure I’m not ready for visitors. 

Not only that, I had thrown a few egg rolls and a medley of frozen vegetables into the oven and was sitting down to dinner. Not only that, but the world series was on the radio and I was actually captivated, it was the bottom or top of the ninth inning, a couple of young studs on base, the closer on the mound, and electricity in the air or was that just static. Whatever the case, I had no mind to go answering the door for an entire schoolyard full of kids. All I had was ten bars, anyway. They were liable to ransack my place for more. Kids today do stuff like that. They’re exposed to all that stuff on the internet, blogs and stuff; they’re like little hardened pre-criminals just waiting for the crime!

My friend Rick told me there’s fight and there’s flight but they always leave out the other one, freeze. Well that’s what I did. I froze like candy bars. It was hopeless. I would have to work up a smile, and that alone would take minutes. So I missed it. Halloween passed me by. Again. Last year I didn’t get any kids (and thank god cause i didn’t have any candy), and this year I did, but I blew it. I really blew it.

Long after the kids left empty-handed, I felt so bad I went out to the street to see if I could fish any stragglers off the sidewalk, lure them to my place so I could give out a candy bar. But they were all gone, why? I went inside and looked at the clock. It was 4am. No wonder. Halloween was over. I was feelin’ pretty dismal, and went to the freezer for a candy bar. The chocolate started to cheer me up a little, and then some guy on the radio was kind enough to remind me to set my clock back. Wow! Time just slapped me an hour. The day after Halloween already was shaping up pretty well. Old man time must have felt bad for someone like me. There’s tons of stuff you can do in an hour. Hell, I just wrote you a letter and I still have a boatload of minutes to play with.

you, me and the blinking ghosts

you, me and the blinking ghosts

Ya you got lost like I did    And came around eventually     Getting lost was part of life     Part of the deal     Finding your way was so surreal     Now you’re not who you were     Are you sure?

I will bet you a dollar you can make it from here to there
But I cannot make it I don’t think I can
I’ll bet you a buck you can

I was just as likely to devour the blinking ghosts before they turned solid and came after me. I really didn’t want to eat them at all, but if you don’t eat them I’m told they will wind you like a clock then disappear you. I’m not ready to disappear! Not at all.

You can come out of hiding
Really  Show up if you can
We’ve all been dying to meet you
Dying

All we were was lost
Not faded. Something out there polished us
Now we are shiny and smooth
Not a statistic
More realistic

milky ways last forever

milky ways last forever

Here comes the full moon. Our street probably won’t get any kids on Halloween, we never do. There’s only one side of the street with houses, the other side is a park and a school. It’s a raw deal to walk down a street with only half as many houses as the other streets, you’re liable to get only half as many treats. I don’t blame them at all, hell, if I was a kid I would avoid our street like the plague. Most of the kids around here, the ones who really know what’s going on, go up to the Fabulous 40s on Halloween. The people live up there are all politicians, doctors and lawyers, CEOs and stuff. I mean money. They probably drop a K on Halloween decorations like it’s nothing. Gimme that giant spider there. That drone, I want that witch ona drone. Can you gimme all the mummies you got in the back, please? They need a goddam assistant to open the warehouse doors in the back by the alley, just to unload all that crap into the SUV. Mummies coming out the sunroof! Amazing. Will you take a personal check? They probably have stamps for signatures they write so many checks up there in the fab forties. Ya, if I was a kid I would hit that for sure. Bring a Macy’s bag or something, cause they’re liable to drop the kitchen sink. Don’t bother coming around my block. My neighbor says he still has candy from last year he’s planning to use, just in case anyone shows. Maybe two years old now, he can’t remember. Snickers bars don’t go bad, anyway, all those damn preservatives. Milky ways last forever.

saturday

saturday. am

The carpets were thick and we moved quietly about the house. We met in the middle and held hands. The cartoons were moving pictures around the screen, blacks and oranges and purples, a latchkey kid lost in visions. Church was all tomorrows and the grasses were not so uniform if you were hiding in them looking. The flapjacks were thick and we moved quietly about house. We met in the middle and wiggled our toes. The leaves on the trees were patching final shadows before they fell, which was sad if you thought about it, but if you focused on the colors it was gorgeous. The walls broke out in patchy spots and we moved quietly about. I did not have to dream about you when you were real.

me and my pumpkin

I ate a pumpkin seed whole without chewing and a pumpkin grew off of the vine that pushed out of my navel. I was very surprised but not shocked because of the season. The pumpkin turned orange and I had to drink a ton of water to get it that color. I really felt dehydrated and drained but my pumpkin looked grand so I felt better though I looked terrible. The people who used to be my friends wouldn’t talk to me no more or go to the clubs with me looking like that, dragging my pumpkin behind me. Cars got really angry, well their drivers did, they made their cars honk at me and my pumpkin crossing the streets. We were in the crosswalk, okay, so exercise a little patience, people. Only the children seemed to really like me anymore, and they followed me and kicked it with my pumpkin. After Halloween my pumpkin and I sat sorrowful at the dinner table, as I prayed for guidance. My pumpkin spoke to me through the vine, I swear, it told me it was okay. I know you think I’m crazy but you all stopped coming by anyway, so what would I care what you thought anymore? And don’t even try. When the kids circle round, we will celebrate the season and eat pumpkin pie. You won’t be invited and that’s why.

the trembling vine

the trembling vine

We are in the thick of October and stab the pumpkins repeatedly with knives after pulling them from the trembling vine. We light candles in memoriam and place them inside the hollowed out heads. Now we can see in the darkness the grotesque faces we carve upon them and smile. We bake their insides and salt and devour. Then we smash them in the streets just to hear the sound. Or let them die another death turning black by thanksgiving, like the teeth in our head eroded by sugars. Halloween. what a blast.