Sunday, April 29, 2012

Games (Blogophilia 10.5 and GBE 2 50)


And finds his trusty Thisbe’s mantle slain.
Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade,
He bravely broached his boiling bloody breast.
And Thisbe, tarrying in mulberry shade,
His dagger drew, and died.-Midsummer’s Night Dream, Act V, Scene I

Ol’ Bill playing mind games with lovers and strangers again.  One makes an assumption and acts, then the other makes a worse assumption and now they are both dead.  This is basis of serial romantic drama from time immemorial. 

And when we read this kind of thing, what is our reaction?  Men usually go, “Better them than me.”   Women generally take a more sympathetic view.  Both go: “Well, that is just a bunch of strangers anyway, why should we really care?”

I think we care because the relations between men and women have a transcendental quality about them.  Whether they go well or poorly, the intense emotional change the fabric of who we are.  A joie de vivre springs within us and the first impulse is to jump on all the signs.  And then we wake up wonder who is this person and how did they get there?

How many relationships got started when the wall was ripped away for you?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Len Foote (Blogophilia 9.5)

The happy journey begins
On two lane blacktops
Purple haze rising
To the falls of my youth.

Blue moon in lightening sky
Sun has risen mightily by
Mr. Turtle In my hand
As I step into the woods

Five miles to the inn. 
And adventure there in.
Memories good and bad
Play as I walk
Past the white rabbits
And old artifacts.

I reach my spot
Only to fall asleep
Dreaming of ancient ones
Who trod this way before.

I awaken with a start
With a nudge from above
To see what I came for.
Great Spirit awakening

Wish you were here. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mill Ruins

The walls are crumbling now,
 Remains of the old gin.
Built and burned
Rebuilt and torn down.
The shouts of the workers
Echo over the dam.

Echoes of rifle shots hang
And the blood of soldiers
Rest beneath my feet.

It has been many years
Since time stopped here,
While life speeds on
Just over the ridge.

I sometimes wish to go back.
To a slower place and time.
Life was simpler
And richer
And more real
Than the artificial world
 we have now.   

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pornography (Blogophilia 8.5)

Sitting in the dark
Alone with his thoughts
And his computer.

Images flicker
Shock, Obsession,
 Forbidden Euphoria
Lived vicariously

No commitment
Burning bridges
To the outside world

The stellar night passes
Paying no heed
Looking for another hit.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hickory Nut Falls

A hickory nut falls
As I sit at Vickery Crick
Next to the rushing dam.

I spend my day
Listening to the
Rushing water,
Waiting for your call.

© Christopher H Mitchell 2009, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


A pile of laundry tossed against the cold stone staircase, at least it looked like that until the sun began to shine on it. Like a lizard sunning itself, Terry slowly began to move. He had survived another night. Struggling to his feet, he wipes away the brown and kaleidoscope in his eyes.  A chill shook him down to his core making his hands feel like they would break off.  The muscles along his abdomen clinched uncontrollably as what little there wanted to be set free.   

“Jesus.  Where am I?”  

Wiping the spit from his face, he reached down and felt for his pants.  Still there.  Better than the last time.  It wasn’t that good and he nodded off.  It scared the crap out of him when the cop’s baton touched him down there. The girl wasn’t anywhere in sight, either. Just another day. He ended up leaving he jail in the jumpers he had been booked in with. Bastards couldn’t even find a donated shirt. A bit of sadness set in. Mama would have been proud.  

No, she wouldn’t. She wrote him off a long time ago. She really couldn’t take the dope.Didn’t like the money disappearing and having to bail him out. Finally, she told him to get lost and he did. Didn’t matter. She’s dead. Someone told him that. Never did confirm it, though. And he really didn’t want to, either. The last he thing he remembered was the warehouse, dancing with the tranny in the pink dress. Lido Shuffle floated through the air, Boz Scaggs’ voice thumping in his head in between cramps.  He/she wasn’t all that bad looking in the low light.  Blonde with thin legs and whiskey voice. Someone said she was dealing White and he wanted to trade.  He couldn’t remember if they did.  All he could remember were the lights.  There was a girl doing lines off a baby changing station. Why the fuck was there one of those in a bar? Like anyone would bring an infant to a rave? The vision of a black guy was jawing about being bumped, then, something hitting him.  Everything kind of spun and this is where he landed.  Always an adventure when you fly.  

“Got to get a hit.  Damn.”

Reaching into his pocket of his spotted shirt, he found a rock.  Anybody got a pipe?  Fuck it.  He wanted smack anyway, not crack.  A little ditty started playing in his head.

Smack and Crack
Down on his Luck
Here he comes
In through the muck.

Stumbling headlong into a bush next to the wall, the nausea had its way. Translucent fluid tinged with red issued forth.  The smell reminded him of the dead hooker in the alley. Already swelling, the edges of her nipples were peeking out over the halter.  She looked like some discarded Barbie doll. He moved pretty damn quickly.  If the cops found him anywhere around there, he was going to get blamed for it.  Another score as the black sheep of the family.

Smack and Crack
Down on his Luck
Here he comes
In through the muck.

The stones were cold against his face. The wall with the staircase that went to the heavens looked a hundred feet tall.  The old buildings across the street waved and dipped in front of his eyes.  Factors Walk?  Yeah. So, where are all the tourists?  He couldn’t see the sun.  Stumbling on a cobblestone, he landed face first. Blood began to pour out of his nose and he put his sleeve up to stop it.  It hurt to lift his arm. Lord, another cyst. If he wasn’t careful, he was going to end up like the hooker. 

Smack and Crack
Down on his Luck…

Cold. It was going to get ugly soon. How long had he rolled, anyway?  Last Tuesday, maybe?  Fuck, he didn’t know.   Maybe he should taper?  Nah.  Need a hit.  He reached to the back pocket.  No wallet.  It wasn’t the first time.  It was almost like his dead mother was reaching down to cut him off.   Maybe he could call his…?   No.  They said they would shoot him if they saw him.  Maybe…?  Nah, she’s dead.  How about…

Another stone reached up and grabbed his foot, pitching him into a Mercedes that was parked in one of the old wagon bays.  The car floated to the beat of the loud alarm. Fuck. He stumbled back around the corner of the building to see if the cops came.  Damn, why does it always have to be so hard?

The wall rotates until it becomes the waterfront. It came closer to him.   What am I?  A puppet pulled by strings?  A shape slowing comes into focus.  The Waving Lady.   Good.  The dealer up the ramp always has good stuff.  How to pay?   Guess it’s time to put on the old charm…

The bronze woman was dancing on the concrete stand.  A sound like a dolphin whistle was coming from the haze around the statue.  He looked down and blinked. A girl? The statue moved a bit closer.  Yes, definitely a girl and it looked like she was topless.  Awesome, a free show. But something was different about her.   Most people ran away or got a cop when he approached. But this one didn’t seem to be moving at all.

“Got any change?”

As soon as the words escaped his mouth, he saw the fin. Huh? A mermaid? Have I really gotten that far?  Didn’t matter, he needed the hit or he was going to die anyway.  So why not dream up a fucking mermaid?  Maybe she can lead me some undersea treasure.

“Uh... are you real?”

She looked up at him and stared.  In a flutelike voice, she answered.

“Yes. I have come to visit my mother’s memorial. Funny, when I come, no one ever notices me.”

The musical sound seemed to warm him and make him forget his mission.  She made a slight clicking sound as she finished.

“Yeah, most of the tourists don’t pay much attention to anything than getting the next trinket.  I used to buy T-Shirts wholesale and come out here to make a quick buck.   And the locals tend to stay far away from here unless they have family visiting.  But, you didn’t say whether you had change.”

That got a laugh.

“No money in the water.  It would just fall to the bottom.  My father used to sneer at the floaters when they would drop during storms.  The nasty men screaming for their mothers. He would say ‘serves them right trying to exploit the sea.’ And there would be all the pretty metal.”

He felt warmer.  The haze seemed to be lifting, but the Mermaid was still there.  Wait.  She said she was there to visit her mother’s memorial?  That didn’t make any sense.  All he ever heard about the Waving Lady is she liked the sailors coming in to port.   He remembered there was some old legend about her.  But he couldn’t remember exactly what it was.

“You said ‘your mother’s memorial.’   But you are…”

“A Mermaid. Yes. Mother lived over on the island there down to your right. She would set up her supply station and wave at the boats as they came up and down the river.  Her brother was with her out on the island, but one day he died.  The supply station became her sole support and responsibility.”

He remembered his mother talking about the Waving Lady he was little.  Mama used to say she touched in the head and the old wives’ tale about it being good luck to be waved in and out of port by her.  She always spat the words out.  Like she was some hooker or something.  He never thought it was fair.  But what did he know?  She’d been long gone before he came around. 

“You mother was the Waving Lady?”

“Yes.  She used to tell me she would wave to the boats to make them aware the supply station was open.  She had heard the whispers of the sailors and whether it was good luck to be waved in.  She thought it was laughable. “

“She was very sad and alone after Brother died. My mother would swim out here in the river most every summer. It was a much simpler time back then. Many times she would go naked down to the water, it was how she liked to bathe. No one would ever see her because it was early in the morning before the tug captains started work.  One day, a storm came up while Mother was outside and she was caught by the wind.  She went headlong into the water.  Struggling to get back to the surface, her dress kept dragging her down.  She told me she felt a slick thing come up from under her and she took it.  It brought her back to the surface near her dock and she noticed it was a dolphin.”

“She was as confused as you are now. The dolphin clicked and whistled and Mother understood. Father had seen her and wished her to join him.  Not having anything to lose, she stripped off her wet things and went back into the water.   She swam beside for a bit, but she couldn’t keep up.  The Dolphin then came under her and lifted her again to the surface.  Joined, the journey lasted well into the night.  The sounds of flutes and clicking followed them though the harbor.  Waking on the beach as the sun rose, the sky was a hundred colors.  And  that is how I became.”

He was silent.  What do you say to someone who is half chick and half fish?  A chill came up through his toes and he remembered what he came for.  He needed smack and soon.  He coughed.

“How did you end up alone?”

A long silence followed. Like a radio signal was fading into the night. A tear hit the sidewalk as she began to speak again. 

“Father never liked me. He was ashamed that he made a half breed and could never understand how the humans worked. All he knew was to swim and fight.”  She began to sob.  “Father would bump me hard enough to kill me, but I would always manage to get to the surface. Finally, I quit swimming in the pod. I see him now and then, but he always turns away. “

“I sort of understand. I’ve haven’t seen my family so long, I forgotten what they look like.”

“Really?  Why?”   She asked

“I like to … well...  I’m not a very good person.”  It was Terry’s turn for sad silence.

She didn’t need to answer. She reached out and touched his rough skin.  He stood and took her hand. It was their time. As they disappeared into the water, all the hurt that was disappeared, along with them. 

Terry’s body was found a few hours later down by the dealer’s ramp. 

No one claimed him. 

He truly was alone. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Source of Comedy (Blogophilia 7.5)

It said the source of all comedy is pain.  Most comics and entertainers have an innate need for attention.  The problem with this is people don’t necessarily want to hear about your problems.  Unless you can take their mind off of their problems.  Take for example Steve Martin.  He understands this.  You rarely hear about his personal life because he knows that would take away from the silly image of him with bunny ears or the indelible image of him in suburban Atlanta parking lot begging for tips with Martin Mull.  

I have been accused of thriving on chaos.  I really don’t feel alive unless it seems the world is falling apart. It is the mark of a child that grows up in a dysfunctional household.  Stability is something that other people have.   My wife is having a seizure?  Tip her on her side to keep the airway clear and make sure she doesn’t hit anything.  Wait until it is over and let her sleep it off.  My Mom drunk?  There is nothing to do there except stay out of her way.  Company computer system get struck by lightning?  Eh, give me a list of was lost. I’ll have it back in a couple of days.

But, routine day to day events?  They drive me crazy.

 Is it normal?  From what I have seen on the internet, it may be.  I see situations that make me wonder how people even survive and that I shouldn’t be such a whiner.  A child forced by an adult to hold hot potatoes or burning cigarettes.  Or the children that are given to other people’s pleasure and thrown away like used garbage.   I have my limits and I wonder if I could survive those things.   And the Hero in me wants to go up and “fix” their problems.  Even though I know in my heart I would make it worse.  

So what does this rant have to do about comedy?  I don’t know.  I keep thinking I’ll find witty ways to vent the steam, but it just sounds like another whiner in the world. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

Father Bob left his office to prepare for the evening Good Friday mass.  It had been a long week, with normal interruption of day to day life. After 20 years as a priest, he felt like he was going through the motions, but the service couldn’t be avoided. He ran into his assistant talking to the choir director, discussing the illness of a choir member.  He spoke to both of them and then stepped into the Sacristy to prepare.

As Bob gathered the other clergy and choir for the pre service prayer, a strange feeling came over him. He looked out the window and saw the dark clouds. This service was going to be unlike any other. He took a deep breath, said the prayer and entered the sanctuary.  The congregation inside was small and silent.  It didn’t matter .  They were here.  The procession went up the aisle and took their places at the altar. 

The service began with the Stations of the Cross liturgy. There were nine plaques lining the walls in a counter clockwise direction, each depicting a portion of the road to The Mount.  Father Bob said the opening collect and invited the crowd to follow him along the path. 

At each station, a Cantor chanted an opening verse and Father Bob and the assistant took turns reciting scripture.   As the service progressed, the weather outside became worse and worse.  The rain pounded on the windows and roof.  The wind could be heard whipping around the point of the steeple.  And a feeling of trepidation could be visibly felt in the crowd. 

The Seventh Station was at the corner of the sanctuary next to the emergency exit.  As the assistant said the words “’It is done.’ And he gave up his spirit.”, there was a loud thunderclap.  A burst of wind came up strong enough to open the fire door that was next to Father Bob, and a collective gasp came out of the crowd.  A child yelled out “Don’t go Father Bob!”  Then the power went off. 

Everyone stood in silence for a couple of minutes.  Father Bob then reached over and closed the open door.  Candles were found and lit and the service was finished.  The congregation left the sanctuary in silence, knowing they had been witness to something that could not be explained.