Monday, October 29, 2012

Obituary (Blogophilia 36.5)

The call came.
The one I knew would.
The confirmation
Of your admission
To the Dead Poet's Society.

Denali Glacier now
Contains your ashes.
The bitter Alaska winds
Brush your hair.

Running away
From your past,
Your family,
Your life,
Never looking back.

And for what?
You weren't the Colossus.
You didn't build a Pyramid.
You went to discover those things
And maybe yourself.

And we have been left
To wonder why
We were left

Friday, October 26, 2012

Lackadaisical-PRT 296

Inclination lacking,
Decline in daily tracking,
Affecting what there is of
My resolve. Enamored
With my best intentions,
Gathered and spent,
Seems my get up and go
Has got up and went.

Employment Gone,
Hang on
Let me get my bearings.
Is it day or night?
I really cant tell,
And my kids are
Following in my

Confusion Infusion,
Head is spinning,
Hair is thinning,
Life is marching on.

I sit here in my sadness
And like the Hatter in his madness,
I contemplate what's really going on

A life is gone,
replaced by one,
My heart is torn in two.

This life around me crumbles
With magnitude that humbles.

Sour stomach rumbles,
Mumbled resolutions, crumble.

Like the dreams of Daedalus,
Asking Alice, strikes of malice,
As the chalice, once brimmed
With hope and promise,
Stings my bone-dry kiss.

Sunburned wings hiss,
And melt with schemes amiss,
No longer flying, I tumble.

Icarus, in flaming bliss, a stumble,
A fiddle learned, a passion burned,
Ascent, descent, both in jumbles.

Lean grasshopper, riddled by airs,
Rejoin the fight for castles faire,
Replenish trees, diminish sorrows,
For fiddle-de-dee, forswears in time,
That finish on the morrow's line.


DJ Myke



Dave Raider

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Catch a Falling Star (Blogophilia 35.5)

Hey, Heidy and Howdy!  I am your intrepid DJ, Harry Handy coming to you live from "Catch a Falling Star."  The night club for the has beens and never weres. The club is serving something called a "Ben Gay" at half price.  The bartender won't tell me what's in it. 

As always, this Old Farts program is brought to you by Ensure, nutrition when nothing tastes good; and by Eggo Waffles, providing breakfast for good ol' Harry for two generations.  We are here, as always,  to celebrate our past, for better or worse. (In the case of my second marriage, much worse)

A lot has been said for bands from the '60's, '70's and '80's that continue to tour long past their prime.  How a lot of them are but shadow's of their former selves.  One of those great band is Lynyrd Skynyrd.  The unluckiest band in the business.  Thirty five years ago, the band literally went up in smoke and the ashes have been performing ever since.  Anyway, here is a tribute to them:

The best known category of Has Been is the "One Hit Wonder."  All the decades had their versions, but I think the best ones were in the 1980's.  These both embraced and rebelled against the Disco movement by using increasingly silly lyrics and costumes.  No song better represents this better than this:

I know it is hard to fathom the next entrant as being a "Has Been", but his best songwriting days seem to be behind him.  He splits is days between absolutely incredible concerts and being a landed Gentlement.  Climb on his back and we'll go for a ride:

And that is all the time we have tonight and it's past your bed time anyway, Granny.  Grab your tea and finish your night with the ultimate Has Been of all time:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Cabin (Blogophlia 34.5 and GBE 74)

The cobwebs moved like puppets on a string.  In the 50 years she lived here, Ellie couldn’t remember when the wind cut so.  Pulling the caftan tight, she stood and looked at the blizzard of falling oak and hickory leaves.  Stoking the small fire in the stove, she sat in the hard chair.  She never liked cushions.  They made you soft and that was something you couldn’t be out here.  Weakness was punished in the woods.  He taught her that.  

Silver liquid twinkled in the jar in front of her, begging to be used.  It was a gift from a neighbor a long time ago, back when there were neighbors.  Mother’s warnings drifted into her consciousness.  Bright blue horses of Armageddon would come. They would travel over the hill and far away, destroying all in their path.  It didn’t matter anymore.  With a faraway look, she took a slug of the moonshine and waited for the warmth to take her.  She took the Bible off the stand next to the chair and then put it back.  This wasn’t the comfort she was looking for.  

It had been almost two years since she found him slumped over his chair.  It seemed like yesterday.  The doctors said the stroke took him quick with very little paid.  That seemed like such a blessing at the time.  Everything after was such a blur.  She remembers the kids bringing over dinner.  Some strange round bread with toppings called pizza.  She’d never heard of such, bringing store bought food to a death.   Used to be a neighbor went out of their way to bring dinner to the bereaved.  Lord knows, she kept a freezer stocked for the occasion.  But there weren’t neighbors anymore.  Just the cabin and 2 miles of abandoned coal mine.

The funeral came and went.  All the people they hadn’t seen for years.  Only a couple from his family, though.    There had been a big falling out over a broken promise concerning some land and they hadn’t spoken since.  Most of them were gone anyway.  She guessed what was left showed up just to remind her they did exist.  She didn’t care.  Not for the land or for them.  They were a bunch of money grubbers anyway.   Preacher said a few words and they threw the dirt.  And it was over.  

Almost mechanically, she walked to the closet.  She went through his things again.  His work shirts and funeral suit hung in the closet.  She laid them out carefully.  She could still smell the cigarette smoke on them.  So many memories.   An old photo album caught her eye.  Images of their life came to life on every page.   One had been taken when they first met at church.  Another showed them at the lake before he went into the service.  She remembered that trip.  It was where they first discussed marriage, deciding to wait until he came home.    There was the one in his dress uniform after he had come home from war.  In a pocket on the album’s back flap she found a sheet of paper.  Gently, she unfolded it and read.  It was the poem he had sent from Belgium. And whenever she needed comfort, she would read it again.

Tonight was one of those nights.  The sheet came easily from its holding place in the Bible.  Pulling the caftan closer, she put on her reading glasses and began to read aloud.

                                Another dark night
                                And I am alone
                                Without the other
                                That makes me whole.

                                But lonely?  Not I.
                                For her spirit lies
                                Between my heart
                                And the moon.

Warmth came over her shoulders as she finished.  She turned towards it and saw his face.  His outstretched hands inviting her to one more dance.  Flustered, she stepped back and smoothed the old dress.   She smiled and knew.  She draped the caftan over the chair.  As she raised her hands to take his, she could hear “Stars Fell on Alabama” and they were falling for her. 

Story (c) Christopher H. Mitchell 2010, 2012
Picture (c) Christopher H. Mitchell 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dream (Blogophilia 33.5)

I am a sporadic dream journal-er. If I can remember a particularly vivid or scary dream I try to write it down on that night.  I know I miss details, but it is entertaining and enlightening.  And it occasionally gives me story ideas.  I sometimes wish my life were like the dreams and perhaps it is like that.  A dream and a fear.   

Here is an example:

I find myself on a road trip, apparently to Greensboro, NC.  But the terrain doesn't match.  It is more like about 75 miles west, like in Hickory or Mount Airy.  The couple I am visiting seems nice enough. Kathryn and I exchange small talk.  Soon, I am in back of the house, climbing a granite outcrop.  It isn't a hard climb.  When I get to the top, there is a trail.  I follow it back aways, then double back to the house. Inside the ladies are talking.  My wife claims to dislike gossip, but she is always there to enjoy it.

I am soon in my car running an errand. When I come back all the roads are blocked with construction.  I manage to get back to the house and the wife of the house asks if I want to make love.  She spits a condom from her mouth and gives it to me.  I am appalled.  I gently hand it back and refuse.  The roads magically reopen and when I get out, I notice I have been driving an older Mercedes Sedan. 

Pretty strange, to say the least.  I've been married for a long time and in the real time world, I have no interest is ripping my wife's heart out.  But even in the dream world, I didn't either.  

Another example:

Sitting on the living room floor.  The wife has a sales spread for a low rise condominium in Midtown.  It is a Spanish style building with beige stucco and a red tile roof.  I ask her if she wants to sell the house and move, she says yes. 

The scene then cuts to me on the tarmac at a small airport.  I am talking to an older gentleman who looks like a couple of my old bosses.  We are joined by a long haired younger man who informs us of  a gruesome murder.  The victim has been slashed many times.  For some reason, I connect this to the death of anold friend,  many years ago. 

The rest of the sequence before the alarm goes off is a jumble of car rides and gas stations.  I think we are heading to the Midtown condo, but I am not sure.   

Trying to make sense of these is like making squares into circles.  The corners don't round easily and there is little way to reconcile the ideas.   I'm sure there are plenty of dream analysis and psychological tools that would help, but I really don't want to delve too deeply.  I might find out who I really am.  

Old Man (GBE 73)

“Ah, there you are.  I didn’t think you’d come today.  It does an old man good to see young people now and again. When you are the oldest sailor on the dock, you never know if you’ll get another chance.  You did bring the beer?  Good. ”

“Your mother well, I trust?  You know her and I go back many years.  When I first met her, she was about your age and I was still bit older.  I was working down on the docks and she was a waitress in a diner.  I’d get off and have a bit of supper.  I didn’t have a girl then.  I had lost mine to fever a few years earlier"

“Anyway, your mother would serve up me up stew and beer.  I always wanted to ask her out, but never could get up the nerve.   She was a pretty one, back then.  Then I caught mate’s position on a steamer and left town for a while.  It was about a year and half later I was back.  By then she had left the diner and gotten married. That would have been your sister’s father, I think.   My loss, really”

“I would see her now again and wonder how she was doing.  I hardly ever saw the husband.  There was a rumor he wasn’t good, but I never pried.  Soon, I saw the pram and the hints of bruises in her face.  The she left for a while.  Not sure where she went. “

“The she came back, with you and your sister.  She didn’t have a place to stay, so I put all of you up.  Your were so little, you wouldn’t have remembered it.  Most of the time she was drunk.  She had left because her husband had killed a man and she thought she would be next.  She never did say anything about your father.  Like it was some secret or another. “

“She stayed for a while and I held her while her tears flowed.  I guess my job was healing.  At the same time, she was healing me and my loss.  It did go to love and I was happy.  Then I woke one day and she was gone again, not to be seen again.  I thought it was my fault, but in a dream she came back and said all was well and thank me. “

“You probably think this was too much information, but it is important that I tell.  Our time is short and our stories expire with us if unsaid. “

“Now, drink that beer.”

(c) Christopher H. Mitchell 10/08/2012
Picture Courtesy of The Morgue Files