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cirque de la nuit

The inky journey of a modern day Troubador

Month

October 2016

Muddled

My head is fuzzy with ideas lately
but I can’t quite grasp them.

I’ll have to wait until they harden just a bit,
and hail down on me

Can’t avoid them then

But I look forward to the
onslaught

~

I’m not one to wait in the
eye of the storm
safe and beautiful as it is

I can only grow
through the tempest

 

 

 

Image via: Samantha Clark at Q Gallery studio, Saltmarket

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Tinted Windows

Littered with cigarette butts
and muddy tracks

reeking of whiskey and
sensitive to the sunlight

Covered with bumps, bruises
and dry patches on your skin

dirt caked and fuzzy headed
muscles weak
heart tired

confused and dizzy
depressed and anxious

the constraints of who and what you should be
will bring you to your knees

society wants you to bow
to humble yourself in its shadow
and be #grateful for the #blessings
it bestows on you.
the warm drippings from its high table.

If you take it, you owe fealty

But isn’t the world bigger than that?
Haven’t you seen things that inspired you
in the broken glass on your bathroom floor
when you finally have had enough?

Haven’t you felt at home
in places that seem otherworldly?
An empty art gallery where your steps echo back to you,
validating your existence

Don’t stay down too long
lovely

And don’t kiss the blood-red ring
of tacit hierarchy

They don’t create your trends
and they can’t forgive your sins

There are too many wicked alleyways
that lead to ethereal destinations
even your corybantic imagination
can’t fathom.

Go ahead
break the tinted window
see for yourself
what’s inside

 

Cowboy Coffee

J drinks his coffee super hot, and dark black
cowboy coffee I call it.

The kind you drink
on a cold mountain morning
out on the range
you get up off your sleeping roll
in the same clothes you wore
yesterday.
And you sit on a stump, or broken-off log
and sip out of a hot tin cup,
the steam mixing with puffs of condensation
from your mouth

fog still looms low over the ground
but the blue peaks rise above it.

I prefer my clouds as
thin swirls of
creamer
to break up the heaviness
of the coffee bean

but that’s just me.

I love that he likes Cowboy coffee

it feels like he
even though we are a generation apart

is connected to my mountain majesty roots

like he was on the front range with me
chuckling at me
while i tried to swallow
mouthfuls of the heavy stuff.

He likes the taste.
I like the warmth.

In another time and space

He would be a seasoned cowpoke
surlier than even Clint Eastwood could
characterize.

But today he just sips his coffee
and stares at nothing.

A Little More

If I could make a wish for you
it would be a desperately simply one

I wish that you would assault the commonplace

maybe take part of it,
internalize it
create within yourself
nerves of steel
and bold courage
but leave the heart tender and soft

With the other part
I wish you would go out in the world
and not be meek and mild
not turn your cameras eye on yourself
but face the world around you
make something, feel something
about the things you see
the people you encounter

I wish you would take it
break it
remake it
and give it to someone else
to remake
yet again

I wish you would know that
this world
this life
is absolutely yours

as terrible, horrifying,
as it can be
you have every inch of space you need
to
make it
better.

3 points

This post was inspired courtesy of “tumblr short story ideas”….writing the story of a wedding from 3 different perspectives. See if you can note which players I picked.

~

He sat shifting and uneasy on the hard pew. Catholics, can’t make anything comfortable for people. Gave a simpering grin to the white-haired lady sitting next to him on the bench. Her bony ass has to be hurting. It felt like hours he’d been sitting, staring at the painted glass fragments in the windows, and listening to the echoes of footsteps and whispers as people entered the hallowed space. Why am I even here? But he knew why he was in this church, waiting in a monkey suit that clenched at his neck, and shoes that pinched his toes. He was waiting to see her. One last time. Seeing her with him, in a white dress that shouldn’t be white….maybe that will erase the mud on her cheeks next to me in the bucket seat of my truck, and the moonlit dips we took up the creek where no one would see us. The music started and he stared down at his calloused hands. This was it.

~

She’d better not say anything. He had played this same song so many times for so many occasions that he didn’t even have to focus on the music. His eyes were on the pretty organist, earnestly plunking her delicate fingers along the keys. She’s been so disobedient lately, I hate when she’s like that.  She lifted her foot off the pedal a moment, and his eye was drawn to her thigh. That dress is so short…its too short. Who is she showing off for? His eyes darted around the room and he missed a few notes. No one noticed, their eyes were on the display of colorful dresses parading down the center aisle. His buddy Frank caught his eye, standing behind the fidgety groom. Frank knew where his mind was, and gave an almost imperceptible shake of the head. Whatever, he thinks I’m too hard on her, but look at his wife, she dresses like a skank, and no one respects her. He’d been sinking into darker and darker places lately, even his violin playing couldn’t pull him out. He wasn’t sure why, but he felt like he was losing her, in the midst of this blessed occasion, he was losing her.

~

She was the last to enter, before the bride at least. She walked alone, preferred it that way. She’d ignored her sisters begging, and insisted on being a solo act. She took her steps swiftly and gracefully, being a wave of beauty had never been a problem for her. She was indifferent to the eyes watching her. Her dress was a chiffon rainbow of colors that flowed behind her like a cape. Regal, just be regal. Her nose was in the air. By the time she reached the altar she almost felt it. But then the real promenade started and all eyes left her. She felt hollow and empty. This is her day. Be happy. Please just be happy! She had already shed tears this morning and had to re-apply her mascara twice. No matter which way she played it in her head, this day felt like her own funeral. “You look great”, the grooms voice was warm and reassuring. His eyes were kind, and he nodded helpfully at her. She knew he was a good soul, but his life was thousands of miles away from hers. And he was taking her sister there. Her best friend, her confidante…the only person in this godforsaken town who understood her demons. I loved her first. 

Discover Challenge: Radical Authenticity

I used to think I was a liar.

One night, I sat on the bed, while the children I was nanny-ing snuggled under the quilts. I wove story after story trying to lull them to sleep, weaving words like the braids in the little girls’ hair.

Before she drifted off the littlest one told me, “I like stories made from nothing.”

My stories take a tiny grain of truth and create a giant bean stalk where a small weed would be.

As a teen, that often turned into ways to disguise the truth from my parents.

But maybe it’s what makes me, me.

via Discover Challenge: Radical Authenticity

My Church

Today is my birthday—

I didn’t really sleep well last night.
It was 2 am and I picked a book on the Russian Revolution off my shelf and read until strings of daylight slipped through my blinds.
The melancholy night turned into an indifferent morning.

But I put on my white fluffy tulle skirt, a 90’s slap bracelet, and moto boots, with sheer chiffon top and a knit sweater.

My birthday outfit this year.

I took the trash out,
I lit an incense candle and listened to my 2016 anthem “America’s Sweetheart” by Elle King.

I took an Uber to work. I never do that.

I resigned myself to having a positive day, regardless of the creeping insecurities up my spine.

Then I walk into work and my boss, who is a King among men, gave me a tapered candle from Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. He was gifted them by a scholar and is carrying them this weekend to his mothers memorial (вечная память).

I was so touched, it was like a weight had been lifted off my heart. The wick of the candle has been symbolically burned to remind us of the ever burning flame.

I’ve always wanted a hallowed spot with high vaulted ceilings and ancient stained glass windows to sit with my many many sins and pleas.

But I don’t find comfort in the stone walls of a sanctuary.

I do find solace in the gentle wailing of a guitar and the husky belting of Lucinda Williams. I can find some version of peace swirling with a glass of whiskey with one cube of ice.

I lose myself between the pages of a book, and silently recite prayers to the dark when anxiety rises like bile in my throat.

and what, my friends is more hallowed than that?

6 sentences to make a story

Stumbled on this challenge from any1mark66
6 word stories
Prompt: Star

She sat next to him, feeling the cool breeze blowing salty scents off the Bosphorus and watching the twinkling stars. He was feeding a stray cat orange slices with gentle hands. She ran a hand down his back, rubbing her palm along his spine, “It’s such a quiet night”. The silence between them tightened, except for the lapping of waves against concrete. She shivered and pulled the cardigan closer around her shoulders, “Let’s head back home soon ,yeah?”. His reply was curt, “I’m leaving you.”

Link it up and check out others Here

Love Lines

 

Cia pulled the itchy sheep-wool sweater over her head, and adjusted her skirt. The reflection in the mirror was frumpy and plain, the look her boss preferred for his employees. Just before she started out the door, she rolled down her sleeves, covering the six faded pink lines beneath her wrist.

Mr. Griff was a wizened old man, but he somehow always managed to raise the ire of all the nurses in the living community. He blew smoke in Cia’s face, coughed heavily and took another long slow drag. “Look Griff, I don’t really care how you feel about taking a bath, it’s a matter of cleanliness” She sat on the edge of his bed sorting his pills. “Nah, dahling” His drawl was slow and rolling, Cia always thought he must have been debonair in his youth, a real charmer with his golden tongue. “Only reason them hens flock to me here, s’cause I smell real nice all the time.” He coughed heartily and weezed, bent over in his wheelchair, “I’m done lollin’ about on this here earth. Time for me to move on, ‘nd I don’t need t’ smell good when I go.” He reached out toward her, “help me, get n’the bed sugar, now will you?”

She sighed and gripped his boney wrists gently, “Allright Griff, but tomorrow you get a bath, if you are still alive.” He smiled, wrinkles folding into other wrinkles on his face. “It’s a deal dahling”. Once he was laying on his back, she moved to close the blinds, but he caught her arm. She looked down at his wrist, she’d seen it many times before but it always surprised her. He had a line of black marks marching from the lines in his wrist bend to the underside of his elbow. His brown eyes were twinkling with mischief. “I know you think I ain’t seen them pretty pink lines on your arm.” She pulled away defensively, “So what. I don’t like everyone knowing my love score.”

He chuckled, which turned into a deep cough, that seemed to never end. While he struggled to catch his breath, Cia closed the blinds, and situated his wheel chair in the far corner of his room. “sn’t a score, sweet little. It’s a proclamation. You’ve been to battle.” “No one has ever loved me back Griff, I have no black lines. Is your mind going now too?” She felt the heat of anger welling behind her eyes. “You have all those lines to prove how many people have loved you and you’ve loved. That is how an arm should look, that is how love should feel- complete.” She wiped a warm tear of her cheek.

“The battle ain’t about makin’ people love you. People will love and hate what they want to. It’s about giving love, even when it hurts to.” Griff pursed his lips and was silent. Cia started to leave the room, “sweet dreams Griff”. “You got a good heart, dahling. Been caring for my ole’ bones a year now. When no one else’ll touch me, or talk to me.” He rolled over on his side away from her.

Cia quietly closed the door behind her. She had never really liked handling Griff, his canterkous behavior and ornery conversation made him a challenge. But when no one else volunteered for his shift, she always would. He had a golden soul, as her mother used to say. He had spirit and life more than most people her own age.

Later in the laundry room, she rolled up her sleeves and reached in the washer to untangle some garments. There was a clean black line under her wrist.

 

 

 

Image scooped up from pinterest
Story idea via this tumblr post

She’s a rainbow

You can’t grasp her
she slips through
your uncalloused hands
like water

reach for her matted
and tangled curls

that’s your fault

caress a finger over
her cold skin

you are touching the ghost
of her

does she haunt you

Where did you exist
when she huddled for warmth

blowing hot breath on her
own fingertips
to stave off the chill

look into those glassy
amber eyes before you
close them

you never saw her 

you can not reach her

now

 

One of the bands I’m currently obsessing over Lola Marsh, put out a single “She’s a Rainbow” and this piece came from the swelling of emotion after I listened (the first 6 times).

 

Cover art by NoPattern

 

Blogger Recognition Award

Wow, the best, and most meaningful awards come from 1.) You peers and 2.) Those who inspire you. And in that way this award is very backward.

DeanJean nominated me from her fantastic blog Zelda Reville.

Her blog is a refreshing mix of music poetry, story telling, and blurting. Always honest and poignant. I initially came across her post about the Cocteau Twins, whom I love and thus was hooked. She is always full of delicate insight and inspiration- so I am humbly happy to do this post!

 

bloggeraward

 

Rules for The Blogger Recognition Award:

  1. Write a post to show your award.
  2. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  3. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  4. Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.
  5. Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.

 

How I started?

My blog is an infant, compared to much of the blogging world. I fought the idea of starting a blog for years. But I’ve been putting together an anthology of my poetry to self publish and I wasn’t coming up with new material. I’m inspired by people, and my life has gotten very busy and adulty at the moment, so I don’t have the opportunity to interact with people as much as I have in the past. Thus I joined the blogging world to mix words and ideas with other creators, to be inspired by reading. Very quickly all the reading spurned my writing, and here I am.

 

My advice:

Those scars, those demons, those fears….those things about you that you hide from the light of day, they belong in your writing. You should let them bleed through the ink on the paper, because it not only makes you unique and real; it speaks to the truths in others.

 

Don’t create a vacuum around yourself. Its easy to bunker down and try to write out of your head, but invest in new and different experiences, they will only feed back into your writing.That being said, it doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking, just slow down a bit, notice things more. On your drive home, on an evening walk, at the grocery, try to take things in that you wouldn’t normally pay attention to. Art mimics life or “art uses lies to tell the truth”

 

The blogs I want to award (hard to just pick 15)

 

 

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