The sick room

Arlene was sleeping when I got back home. It would be strange if she weren’t.

I tiptoed into the bedroom, even though a full brass band could have preceded me. It wouldn’t have mattered.

The room had a sick smell that can never be scrubbed away. It filled the house, even with the windows opened up and the wind scooting away the stale air. It was the smell of medicine and sweat and dying. Yes, dying has a smell, and I guess you can smell it on me. Continue reading “The sick room”

A Shooting

He hitched his pants. They were too big and baggy on his lean frame. Then he rubbed his hands on his knees. I couldn’t tell if he was trying to clean his hands or wipe off the flakes of dried blood from his pants. He moved slowly, like he was in a trance. All the crazy energy he had when I drove up was gone. Continue reading “A Shooting”

November 1, 1975

Note: In a recent conversation with a friend, I told her that I still had most of my writing stored away, back to when I was 15-years-old. I was pretty damned intense for someone that age. I dug around and found my very first journal. I’ve kept this old journal — a compilation of poetry and diary entries — and it’s travelled with me to innumerable different apartments, houses, beaten-down hotels, the back of my car, a couple of provinces, and two countries. I don’t know why I hold onto it, other than they’re entries from a naive, intense and, dare I say it, sweet little kid who had no idea what the future held. I promised her I’d post an entry from back then, and I’m a man of my word. Cringing is allowed and acceptable, but please, don’t outright laugh. He was 15-years-old and his heart was honest.

Alone (Part II)

The bitter cold

consumes my

soul like

a fire consumes

ice.

The quiet road

ahead of me

is dark

and I fear

darkness.

The velvet clouds

above me

drift silently

and move

freely.

The beating of

my heart

is hushed

against the

wind.

— Written November 1, 1975