Faith

As dawn’s soft light crawls over the horizon and into homes,
He shifts in bed and rubs the sleep from his eyes.
To the sink, shower, and kitchen he roams,
Preparing for his daily trip to where his heart lies.

He carefully shuts the worn, wooden door behind him.
The earth is cool and crisp is the mountain air.
From the hills above beckons a bird with her hymn,
Soothing his soul with a memory both gentle and fair.

He was a family man, and man was his family.
He gave himself to others without tire,
Beseeching destiny for a treaty.
Yet, never did she acquiesce, never did relent the aching fire.

The gravel crunches under his feet
As he climbs alongside the newborn sun.
Nestled in the bosom of the mountain there waits a seat
For a tired heart seeking a peaceful end to its run.

He was patient, and so he waited,
Waited for the ripple of her name to forfeit unto his mind one full day.
Life’s indifference let him plummet unaided and lifted him high elated,
And yet, thought stubbornly clung to the soft shores of her bay.

Peace permeates the grassy clearing,
And a familiar melody greets him – the passage of a mountain’s tear.
He sits cross-legged and straightens his back, breathing,
Feeling the aroma that he holds so dear.

He still remembers the day they met.
The little grove tucked into the Himalayan foothills insured he never forget.
History racing before his eyes and love rising in his breast, he at last submits to rest.
He exhales, closes his eyes, and gives her one last smile, his best.

The wind reluctantly departed from the man’s chest,
While a respectful susurrus arose from the surrounding trees,
And icy blood quickened as it beheld a petal shaken loose by the scented breeze.
The ancient stream readied a fluid nest,
Resolute that her dance could last an eternity, at best.

-JiNiT

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Friendship

A story I wrote years ago, with minor amendments. Progress is slow.

He stood in silence. Jake didn’t mind, really. And, if he did, it was not as though he could show it. Paul listened. Breathing, mechanical hissing, footsteps and whispers – the usual repertoire of lifeless sounds. He looked around. The room was orderly and clean, the sheets on the bed unruffled and pale. He tried to take a deep breath and almost choked. He needed some air, the night, a less painful quiet. He needed a light.

A good friendship is many things. First and foremost, though, it is the mutual desire to share. We share our time. We share stories, memories and ideas. When we meet someone cute and funny; when parents give us shit about decisions; when there is something we want desperately, our friends know. Relationships are built upon words, nourished by the music of laughter and strengthened by strife. But what happens when the words fade? When the laughter subsides? Paul pulled out a cigarette.

The hazes swirled away in the night chill. Funny, he thought, how even smoking reminded him of the accident. Jake was never a fan of sleep. He hated his bed, called it a prison. He always greeted the morning with a happy vengeance. Even after his wife’s passing, he sought to make others smile. He lived a normal life in many ways, but his heart was abnormally large, his eyes unnaturally bright and his story helplessly addicting.

Paul still remembers the day he met Jake. It was the middle of fourth grade, near Christmas time. Paul had just moved into the neighborhood and didn’t know a soul. He ate lunch alone. Walked home the same. Told his parents he was making tons of new friends. Then, one day, someone sat next to him in the corner of the cafeteria and asked Paul if he wanted one of his Lunchables pizzas. Paul offered applesauce in return. Everything changed. Paul came to love school; waking up with dread was a thing of the past. He took one last drag on his cigarette before crushing the butt under his foot. Waking up, for Jake, was a thing of the past.

He stepped into Jake’s room as he had at least once a week for the past eight years. Jake lay still, oblivious to his friend’s devotion, staring blankly into the universe that twisted his fate into a hopeless knot. Paul sat and wept. He remembered the high school dances, the late-night study sessions in college, their marriages. He didn’t know what to say. Indeed, ran out of words years ago. But, he knew what he wanted. He wiped his snot, glanced at the screens, and dropped lids to their resting place.

 

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eyes closed [4] – revision count, prose poem

hmm, originally, i thought maybe i would do this regularly, try to make it a thing, but what does that mean, why do i write, why do i sit here and move my fingers, or my hand and wrist when i’m treating with ink, scratches and scribblings, lines and curves, pieces of movements that last for moments and eternities, eternal blossoms given by the trees, the mothers and fathers whose pillaging few mention, whose memories are lost in the opacity of self-indulgence, or sometimes, that’s how it seems, at least, no piensas? esto va a ser un poco más complicado, pero supongo que puedo volver a poner las tildes donde son necesarias, pero igual cuenta, o debería; yea, a new element to the exercise; not only must one begin with eyes closed and cease when they open, for whatever reason, which means yes, sometimes life will get in the way of something that you’re excited to continue and show to others, but it’s OK, because if one is to commit to writing for a lifetime, the only way to survive is accept that no matter how much weight or recognition one’s words acquire, they are ultimately empty just like everything else, and know, that isn’t the same as meaningless, check out Nāgārjuna; a comment on the revision counter – one might think to have identified a loophole whereby one makes a great deal of mistakes, errors of cohesion and semantics, and then goes back to revise them upon the opening, and this would, I hope it is clear, defeat the purpose of the exercise; the point is not to try and cheat, though that is to what most of us are accustomed, because no game that matters is played fairly in our societies, except chess, but even chess has had little ability to help politicians understand justice, how outcomes might be distributed in a community of communities; the revision counter is a place where quantification is displayed and shared with others of the mistakes in punctuation and spelling that one has committed; that may mean adding a word or adding and moving letters, but such morphological amendments must be enacted judiciously, otherwise there is little difference between this and typing with the eyes open; what grounds can be demarcated for this exercise to be defended as a distinct experience, a kind of training? without eyes, without the trail, one must maintain a certain fidelity to memory, a trust place in recollection, and submit to the inevitability that one, dependent upon faculties, is likely to disappoint oneself with first attempts, because the creation of beauty is arduous, requires labor and agony, doubt and scrutiny, vinegar and honey, flavors and gustatory leanings that are interpreted differently, for neural pathways are plastic, at least the great many of them, and what we do in this life is brought to mind by the interaction between electricity and organic machinery, the most efficient technology in the known universe, the human body is marvelous, and I look forward to studying it; OK, so the point is, should you wish to participate, should you wish to embrace the mystery, and claim that what you have produced has been cultivated in the specified fields of this activity, then please respect the boundaries, because otherwise names are torn from mountains and the cosmos is just the name of a show hosted by some Black scientist; i’m going to have a go at a prose poem, one about a young love, i guess we’ll see what happens.

approaching fast was the time designated, the slots assigned, the spaces allocated for, napping and chitchatting and trying to get away with it, the classroom buzz was reminiscent of a vibration characteristic of a thriving comb, and the instructor in high spirits, bounced directives and sprinkled discussions with unsettling animations, and Kahani was going to lay down where she did usually, and her best friend did not show up today, so the chance was upon him. The spot adjacent was to be vacant, waiting for him to take it. So he made her aware of his presence in the morning, offering her a sip or two of his juice though she had her own and his favorite flavor was mango, and commenting on that wavy dress that she wore far too seldom, the one that fluttered when she moved, the napkins that folded and unfolded themselves as she strode from one point in time to another in space, the dark explosions of the galaxy’s rejuvenating silence in his mind took the form of the beams that destroyed ambivalence when she giggled, when she curved upward her lips and her eyes looked at his. He was not tired this day, anxious to see if she would also be awake, perhaps thinking too about the chance to exchange in whispers trivial observations about the happenings of the learning that was more boring than inspiring, and maybe she would mention that there’s a little room at her feet, where he could sleep the following day or when her friend returns, so a proximity of body, marionette sentiments jostling, divine strings allow to be summoned chords of the firmament, tendons of Hercules, articulaciones de los titanes, the ocean sways in agreement, thinks Giovanni, when he notices how Kahani has rested her body, how she’s watching him approaching, how she did not get distracted while he asked if the spot adjacent was taken, how she on her side seemed a peaceful sequence of slopes, a landscape of innocence, soft blanket, easy breathing, orbs glittering, gaze steady and attentive, feet’s piglets wiggling, slight corporal adjustments to indicate a conscious presence, an invitation to temerity, to that cliff that is the possibility of being too honest too soon, too apparent to maintain the interest of one so mysterious, too simple for one so enigmatic, too brutish for one so liquid, too human for one so transcendent, too childish for one so sharpened, the essence of woman is too oft defined by those who have no business of doing so, but this young person, feminine tranquility, vaguely perceived Giovanni, she was destined for the halls of Nordic lore, taverns of immense proportions, sunlit tapestries and galleons of romantic enchantment, the fog may surround her body, shroud her outline, dissolve her independence, but no condensation would dare to challenge such density of motion. Giovanni reciprocated, hands under head, legs at an angle, hope in his eyes, he pretended to sleep, stealing a peek every now and then. Her eyes are closed. Her eyes are closed. Her eyes are closed. Three glances, three disappointments. And yet the inferno in his ears pounded all the same, stampedes of expectations, choruses of migration, fear of coming off unseemly, the desperate plea to not mess things up, to be dealing with a  person with forgiving in their nature. Her eyes are closed. It seems she’s fallen asleep, Giovanni mused. So he closed his eyes. He dreamed in the darkness. Kahani, having noticed his stillness, cracked lids, stared for a moment, made a shape with her little lips, blew the chap at her side a kiss, and returned to her dominion, awaiting with a new fondness el crepúsculo, la realidad tomada de las manos con la esperanza.

Buenas noches, entonces, damas, caballeros, lectores.

revision count: 32

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prose [1] – plain beauty

The rubber duck floated to the top, stopped by legions of bubbles, iridescent hazes swirl like storms on gas giants as translucent spheres merge and burst into oblivion, a world of its own, a bathtub planet, without the tip-toeing shuffling akin to two kittens walking with little mittens covering their fluffy paws, that is, with no company of coherent rarefactions, and a little being is fascinated by the way things go, a giggle, a gurgle, an infant’s chuckle and glee, butter and saffron, sacred innocence, density of purpose, the weight of a new spirit born to be awakened.

A mother listens to the piano music that lands and nests and takes off again among the walls relinquished by her cellular device, and how the sounds of her child’s playful intrigue accompany the fingers’ glide, sweet the combination, a soliloquy of black mystery and blue skies.

Sinkside candles throw theater on the sides, a circus of spaceships and crocodiles, a march of ghouls with heads on spikes and women in cages, a band of acid parasites and mothers without faces, the waves, flickering, the capricious flames turned the small place for cleansing into a fractal paradise, a serious engagement between warriors nighted and the ambivalent self-destruction of life, yet unlike most critters her age, he embraced with fierce delight the incessant uncertainty, the audacity of the universe to think, know, itself as being infinitely creative and ingeniously bothersome.

Water absorbs gentle spontaneity, moves around and envelops the tiniest arms, the squishiest noggin, the silk that breathes, and caters to a foamy tectonics.

A longer reach with larger hands and worn elbows makes contact with the surface, a familiar sensation, the dancing contours of a comfortable presence, come unto nascent perception, and a bath is given, duty and privilege served, a holy moment shared between life’s cradle and its witness, a caretaker’s rite of passage.

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show don’t tell [1] – fear

This shall be another kind of series, of exercise. I shall take no less, no more, than 30 minutes to show and not tell. I will likely disappoint. I invite your critiques. And I invite you to give it a try. Try not to worry so much about how the tale turns out. We do that enough in life. Take the half of an hour. And if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to read what comes about. Cheers, then. Here we go.

Christopher began the long walk over to his aunt’s house. The darkness of the day had arrived recently, and the young little man felt the shadows nipping at his heels. His block was a few blocks away, and so he had to distract his thoughts as he passed the other houses. The sidewalks that rose and fell, had ridges and slopes in between. The lawns that had chain-linked fences, more weeds than grass, and sat silently under windows often decorated with boards and adjacent to the signatures of rival gangs. The globes of illumination that fell from the posts in between homes was spotted, inconsistent, unworthy of the notion of continuity. So some parts of his familiar surroundings seemed more ominous, depending upon where the light happened to be falling. Christopher usually got along well with his aunt, indeed, the whole of his mom’s side of the family. Sue was his mom’s oldest sister. Both ladies were born in the city, raised there, educated on poverty and disturbance. The stereotypes are a pity, thought Sue as she sat in her kitchen, sipping on some whiskey. The trampoline is broken, and the couch needs fixing, Sue thought as she made herself a sandwich and took her position in front of the television. The people in my life are worthless, and I still have to put up with them because it’s better than feeling lonely, Sue felt as she opened the door to greet David, the guy she was seeing, one of the many who liked himself a good once in a while a healthy beating. The crickets had started chirping, and Chris was eager to get to his destination. He wished his mom wouldn’t send him over so late. But, she also had little say in the lining of the school districts, and it was better that he wake up at his address, near where the bus comes in the morning. The night was swaying, as if there was an energy imbalance, as if the streets were conspiring with the architectures of the firmament. The diagnostics were alarming, the redness blaring, and Christopher’s imagination was reeling. The car on the corner was bouncing, and there was a couple walking with a couple guns in their back pockets, marking territory, making the rounds, living with a purpose, clarified meaning. And he wondered about his fate, his path – was he the one doing the step taking? The school was largely filled with those with other stories, kids with patterns of speaking and fabrics of experience with different stitching, knitting of a different order, and though one culture may be superior to another, it seemed unfair to compare when one has been playing unfairly and the other subject to its immorality. The tension in the house was immediate, disconcerting, as soon as Christopher entered the lair. He could tell that Sue had been drinking, and that perhaps recently there had been a disagreement of sorts. The kitchen was accented by a pile of dishes, a floor with visitors crawling in different directions, lights without bulbs, a half-open fridge and overflowing recycling bin, and specks of blood in various locations. On two of the walls, a cup on the counter, droplet cities navigated between and among by tile critters.

“Christopher, is that you? Let me hear your voice, sweetpie.”
“Good evening, Aunt Sue. Are you in the living room?”
“On the lazyboy. Please, come in. I’d get up to greet you, but I’m just so comfortable here.”
“Sure thing, Aunt Sue.”

Christopher turned the wall that opened up into the living room, and dropped his backpack. He wanted to scream, but something inside his mouth was not working. It was loud in his head. Though he couldn’t hear anything reaching his ears from outside of them. The aunt whose spirit he usually equated with her cherry pies was standing in the middle of the living room, most of her face bloody and an opening on the right side of her upper head, the hairs were jagged and mixed with what seemed to be dried blood and glass, and she held a knife in her hand, a blade that was still wet, and seemed to have dripped away from a puddle, a silent mass, a curve that resembled that which a body takes when resting on the ground, the flesh that was once called David, in a heap marinated in less frequently oozing, cooling blood. And the noise turned into a din, a steady drilling, a piercing note that was emitted by all objects, living and plastic, and Chris turned at once to leave, run back home, to safety. His feet started to move, and he felt the earth tremble behind him, as a predator took its form, dug in its feet, began to move stealthily. She took steady steps, strides, to offer Christopher a sense of confidence and reassurance. Cooing and motioning looming, Christopher found the doorknob uncooperative, frozen in the winter’s stubbornness. His aunt’s shadow was first seen making its way along the passage, moving and covering multiple walls, the size of the fateful encounter was growing with seconds inflated into momentous eternities, and the beating of his heart beat to the drowned chorus of uncertainty as what seemed to be the point seemed like a spear in the play of the light, and then his aunt’s body summoned and consumed the wraiths, which proceeded to reunite in full force in a maddened countenance. A cry, a wail, a wish for warmth and home, mommy’s arms and cookies at night, his aunt put on a smile, approached with a hug, loosed soothing syllables as she tightened her grip on the knife, and gave her little nephew a kiss that lasted a night.

Chile [3]

disculpe que no soy escritor,
pero me parece que la vida
es más buena que mala
porque aparece a veces el alba,
y al nacimiento del día
entre alientos
se abrazan las manos,
y le ofrezco unos pensamientos
a su dulce cara y neblina,
a esa sonrisa de la mañana