Posts Tagged ‘character sketch’

This become a dead-space yet? I live in a house without internet. I’m writing on paper. [that’s the update.]

Swannanoa, sweet SwannaNowhere, Iam Here. I live in a small house sweltering in sweaty grasses.

I live

in some small house

completed now with seven other children and a chorus of flies:

their teensy iridescence crashing together continuously

making music

I’ve grown used to

even when it falls on the skin of my shoulders

and rouses me

in morning.

When I get up, I move lengthwise

making my muscles unkink and grow slender. I flick my toes.

When I walk out into the world after asleep,

my naked skin greets the air. I reach down and notice my pubic hair’s grown coarse

in its forest of thickness

I’ve allowed to flow free for such time now. Never again to disband it

without incredibly good reason.

Fig’s in the living room, positioned somewhere ocean-wise, on our giant rug of the globe.

he covers world in art

collage-fixins and papers strewn allover

his addiction. His schizophrenia

and the reduction of his pills

forcing him to seek refuge

in all these genitalia

he constantly creates.

skeleton-penis-flaming vagina. “Everything goes back to birth,”

he’s wise so beyond,          that it surprises me when he clings to my words

until I realize I must be careful what I say

around a searching soul so willing to change.

Fig, you’re okay. And I love to get high with you

off mullen, mugwort, herbs,

wrapped like a delicacy


and expelled innocence laughter.

The medicines I’ve got to take to get myself to sleep

in that hot smelly room of human

on all nights i could tear in for


The small house is white, and it’s really false as a house afterall.

Nothing but some crude shelter,

outside posing as in.

It sounds like music

and feels as restless as creative youth.

and outside, which is inside, is always singing. It’s even in our skin,

raised little red bumps

we can’t help but itch until they bleed.

I take a pen to them,

making stars,

galactic scenes,

connecting sense out of chaos;

the creatures I killed so swift with the flick of my hand,

my own blood smearing there, along with that of how many others? It’s a deep orange pekoe

resting in a streak, residual lastings for as long as my next shower,

which occurs maybe in ten days or so.

Showering is a big event in small house. and Clothes can’t contain

the freedom we feel

in a first small house, it’s loft full of arts, words, crushed cans and stolen go(o)d(lines)s.


Emma. has hair like a marigold

and the body of a muse,

renaissance painting.

Her ‘grandpa-ass’ like porcelain gel, speckled. flatly swishing against her frocks, all flowered

she is covered in flowers.

Emma’s like soil, bathed in flowers,

the intricacies of the root systems finding their coils and clings

in ways impossible to predict.

flowers grow from her demure smile

and the way she knows herself but doesn’t know she knows herself

dousing in wine                (“get me the burgundy”) and seeing four faces.

Her skin sprouts faery wings

and smatters in stars

when it’s courageous enough to face the sun.

Emma. A drawn-by, strung-out tangle of golding copper,

lusting for melancholic passion and learning to pick on through

pluck on by

her breathy voice

is as endearing

as the red little pimples in her crack

and the way her teeth line up

to show off the piercing just topping her chin.

A cherry

on her icing (for she’s a cupcake garden, after all.

she;ll go soon. And be gone. And the small house willn’t be similar.


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This girl, some holy trinity,

our fire-fire-and air. rising silents and subtle around a table

at some cafe named for our temperaments.

3 to sidle aside one another

seamless and next

and maybe some kind of one.

All these skin-sac.s

reflections in the mirror showing all sides of mineself.

She’s the part of me that suffers

she’s the part of me that feeds.

He’s the piece of impatience

and him, the part that gets annoyed before regaining my composure.

Thomas doesn’t come to work anymore.

His job felt threatened by a temper

which refused to be calmed via ‘reason’ or ‘rationality.’

Wanting to steal this camo jacket!

Wanting to cash a self-written check!

If the world doesn’t manifest according to his surface dire needs,

Thomas flies handles.

His brow connects like a log of brick

and it’s all he can do to make noises from deep within his throat

his deafness aiding the expression of his zipping whip

his candid candle

“childlike” notions of truth, reality, importance.

Truelike notions.

Why shouldn’t he cash a $10,000 check he’s written himself?

None of that bank’s money is real anyhow.

So Thomas practiced his judo chop

in the air about his good friend’s aura.

He let the dishes drop and clang and swung around the racks.

He kicked the shins climbing out of cars

and sent his fist through plaster.

Now, where is Thomas?

In some quiet, dead quiet world of chest vibrations and racecar pajamas.

Maybe sitting on a rug, diving into a bag of raw onions

getting hay in his teeth and coming

out smiling

, his best friend playing the face of a clown.

making it easy on him

with nicknames and signatures.

Thomas, I love your tattoos

and the free drone of your chuckle.

I think it’s cool when you ask me through fingers

about the cleanliness of each individual plastic bowl.

Because I know none of them are really clean.

And the fact that you’re the only other one in the hot mist of the dishroom who knows that

is a comfort.

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Disturbing the Piggery

Virginia is bigger than her skin
when she dances in swift turns
she speaks from a grander place
than her size should permit
Virginia whose deftness of thought and feeling means
she seems to understand me whether I speak clearly or not
whether I speak English or not
whether I speak or not


– Owen J. Harris

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Leland Blue

There once was a boy

who wore a hat whene’er he was working

who made drinks one by one.

He’d snatch the ticket, which grumbled up from the machine, and hang it loosely


between two slates of metal.

He’d grind the carrots – separating them juice from pulp from soul and spraying their last stingy hurrahs over upside-down glasses resting on rubber mats.

He’d blend the mangoes.

He’d steam the milk

taking care, when a gallon emptied, to crush the container and rinse it with the steamer,

tip just inside the lip of the bottle

dribbling hot water all through and rinsing of remnant and future stench.

saving future trash collectors from rot bath –

one less un-rinsed gallon of old milk to worry for.


This boy wore his hat to work like told

and for every ten drinks he made

he made one for himself, too.

a bubbly concoction just tinged with a reminder of fruit

to offset the taste of bitter fermentation (that never was fully masked).


With every ten drinks, there’d emerge a guffaw

or a burst of affection

To kiss a waitress on the cheek

To proclaim worldly excellence

To tell a girl she was beautiful or to remark on her efficiency.


So when the hat came off,

he’d look younger and be dressed in colors

and a bemused smile would plaster one half of his face

(for you see, he’d had an uneven grin

laying just below the flare of mismatched nostrils.)

A grin who half of which always seemed to be rather a grimace instead.

But the hat disappeared into his bag

and traded for the helmet to a bicycle, which he’d clutch in his hands

or place next to him on a wooden booth

as his hands busied lifting a clear golden glass to his lips

or a bottle.

With every sip first he’d sure up with his words

and spit them out

then fumble for them, wanting to shove them back where they’d been born from.


He’d speak of pretty girls,

the ones he admired for their looks and sweet demeanors.

He’d pine for interesting boys,

the ones he wished he was himself.

The girls he wanted. The boys he wanted to be.

And he never said an unkind word for anybody.


But the way half his face froze to a grimace

and how he was so eager to sip through his day –

he never accepted when his hand on a woman’s knee was encouraged.

“It won’t be good,” he’d concede, or

“I’d rather drink alone tonight.”


He’ll drink alone, and crawl deep in to the wrinkles made on one side of his mouth,

the incurable downturn of his lips on the right side

he’ll curl up like a frog or a fetus and let the crescent of his forlorn forced dimple caress him like a hammock

feeling held in some sadness

and taking some sick comfort there, sweetly in the dark.

his hands in paint and his hat nowhere to be found.

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Man in the Bookstore

This man’s energy is so subtle and subdued its almost difficult to find and it remains contained of mine. This man’s a damp, cool-ish washcloth with soft lining bristles and terry hem. His eyes smile disproportionately to the rest of him. What a soft, contained and explained railroad man. On track, on time, softly hooting into quiet closing wildflowers and bathed in velvet evening. Four stars and an unblinking moon strung on above by plastic thread like undetected fishing wire. Soft hooting, gentle nudging of air molecules in a slow ripple that sways nighttime petals.

Chugging. As a millipede stretches and scoots with measured, natural, belabored ease of efforts. Multicolored Halloween spines and sticky with grass pellets clinging to the tiny hairs.


Such delicacy and protein. Where is the breath?

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