Promises

I lived so many lives
But none of them were real
They belong to someone else
Who I can barely feel
I made promises I broke
Trying to be free
Many promises were broken
That had been made to me
At the strangest breaking
Point typing this alone
All the years are taking
All the memories gone
Living in a record
That sputters while I write
The moment but a second
No morning and no night
In spite of all the evil
In suffering is grace
I could never thank The God
Enough prostrate on my face
For every bad that came
Was also something good
Everything I didn’t get was still
Exactly as it should
Have been no matter how
Difficult the journey
There were time of joy so huge
Despair fought with at tourney
For every time that life is born
Comes with struggle screaming
All the horrors of real life
Are healed while I am dreaming

Big Pharma

She went for the job interview at the pharmacy and they said the last part was a lie detector test.

(She never forgot this it haunted her all her life.)

She was trying hard to find a job but no one believed she was. They thought she was trying to sabotage it so no one would ever hire her. People in her own family had no idea how hard she tried.

She had just lost a job as a waitress because she could not remember the seating of the tables fast enough and everyone chided her,

“You read so fast and you are so smart and yet you can’t even recall the placement of tables in a restaurant? You MUST be lying!”

‘Liar’

All the time she heard that word over and over like the words ‘witch’ and ‘crybaby’ and ‘loser’ and the list of words was endless. She was trying to get a job in the local pharmacy with the ‘shi shi’ girls. She really thought she could do it and the interview went so well….

She went into the office where they did the lie detector stuff and decided to be totally honest no matter what they asked. She did not rehearse anything. They hooked her up and she was terrified of the gadgetry but managed to mask her face. This was IT. She had to do well!

The man kept trying to get a reading. He adjusted the gear. He adjusted the terminals. He shook his head. He set the operation up twice and that made her even MORE nervous. Surely this was not going to wrong! She had failed so many times. She didn’t know why she was so smart and so stupid at the same time. All she knew was that most people hated her, jeered at her, or ignored her in embarrassment.

“What’s your name?”

She told him the truth.

Have you ever done drugs?

She told him the truth.

Every question she answered with bald honesty and he shook his head again and cut the interview short. He would not answer any questions.

She lost the job.

She went to the pharmacist and asked him point blank why she didn’t get the job. Her papa made her do it because he wanted to know what she was doing wrong in the interviews so that she could get a job.

“Why didn’t I get the job?” she asked the pharmacist.

“Well…” he looked down almost ashamed…”Well you lied about everything.”

“But I didn’t lie! You know my name and family and the answers! You know them before I gave them! The test was just incidental you know I answered truthfully YOU KNOW ME! My name is Mary Shannon McCloskey and I answered EVERY QUESTION with total honesty!”

He looked almost embarrassed and said, “I know you answered honestly but we can’t employ someone who thinks they are lying about their own name.”

She looked at the girls behind the pharmacy counter. All beautiful. All with perfect hair and teeth and smiles. The pharmacist reached out and scraped his finger on her nose. She hated that because her nose is what everyone made so much fun of. Her flat chest and her huge nose. He waved his finger in her face.

“Blackheads. You have blackheads.”

She dropped her head and went out to her papa’s sedan. She told him the truth. “They say I am a liar. I told them my real name and they say I am a liar. I told them the truth and they say I am a liar.”

Her papa’s face looked sardonic.

“You are a liar.”

She went back later to ask for that job if it wasn’t taken. There was an older woman behind the counter.

Ruth.

Ruth was not beautiful on the outside but she was on the inside and she watched that girl-who-always-failed ask for that job and called her over,

“Hun. I want to hire you.”

She looked over at the shi shi girls in their ivory tower and she looked at the hot grill and the bacon press and the soda fountain. She squared her shoulders and said, “Yes I will work for you.”

It was the first real job she was ever good at. She wasn’t very good at it at first but the clientele of one of the last ice-cream soda parlours in America were forgiving. Ruth did not mind her screw ups and soon she was the best damn grill cook ever and, at the end, could open and close the whole little corner on her own but every day she had to LOOK at the people she was ‘less than’.

One day she said a cuss word loud enough to hear it. She didn’t mean anything bad by it.

That old pharmacist came sailing around the corner and started to yell at her about using bad language in front of all the shi shi girls and the customers and everything. She lost it. She cried so hard that everyone in the store left. She forced the pharmacist to let her call her papa to come get her on the public telephone. She sat out on the curb for two hours and when he got there she was finished crying.

Dry as a dead bone in a desert. She had nothing to say to anyone for two days.

He was angry but not surprised. Why should he be surprised? She was a loser.

She Sings the Words Alone

  1. He sent them:
    To me, all beautiful women
    He could have for a smile
    Or a quest like war
    Killing love for it’s own sake
    “Still I wanted him
    To love me.”
    She sang the words
  2. Suspended,
    Before the chase
    Blood covenants spilled and broken
    For promises
    For kingdoms
    Twist yours into mine
    “Birth these devils for us
    Double blade inside you
    All your life.”
    She sings the words
  3. My heart hold itself now
    For a song
    She sang words I dreamed
    She belonged where I wanted to be
  4. Now a snake awakens
    Rattles shaking
    Bare your smile for the kill she sings
  5. He never wanted me
    My own hands caress my soul
    I ride my own horse
    I write my own place
  6. He can say
    He did
  7. He believed it too
    She sang a song
    That emptied his chances
  8. To keep me forever
    Greek chanting chorales to the play
    “I am the alien .” she sings the words,
    “Winds and thunderstorms
    Make love to me.”
  9. Background noises
    Sounds of men who used to be
    Passed into yesterday
    Epic even though they fell
    For other loves
    I do not even own my own
    It flies
  10. Lost
  11. Over dark continents
    Seeking
    Learning
    That nothing is worth
    The pain of everything she sang
    Words carried drops of confusion
    Smelling
    Of old perfume and inverted logic
  12. Really it was men
    Stumbling in a giants footsteps
    Trying to walk
    In prints to big to fill
    Carrying a broken heart
    Before she broke
    She sang the words
    I put into her mouth to sing
  13. She came near
    Once she filled my nose
    With the smell of sweat
  14. Now she sings the words
  15. No one ever really heard them
    Humans don’t know
    How to hear the aliens
    The glory of life swells
    It plays arias of love
    It plays with hearts
    Letting out the life
  16. Stopping
    Each beat forced
    Ideas ripped away
    She sings the words for angels
  17. Juxtaposition
    A punishment of words she sang
    Breath hurts the chest
    Tight
    Notes shot from taut strings
    Sounds killing
    Metal tipped destroyers
  18. My own soul I love alone
    I eat alone
    I drink it’s blood alone
    I sign it’s agreement
    In blood by myself
  19. The roar of crowds is for others
    Men worshipping are not for me
    They no longer worship God
    They worship Giants
    They worship youth and strength
    They worship beauty and power
    Yearning for magic
    Quicken your feet
    They are walking

Facebook Asks Me…

…What’s on my mind?

Fantasy
Sexual odes to Love,
Iridescent bubbles,
Slow dancing with angels,
Infatuated euphoria,
Transforming,
Music that makes me smile,
Writing love songs to my beloved
Sprung full grown from my brain
After giving me a headache

What’s on my mind…

Dark eyes filled with stars,
Leather and sheesha,
Galloping across the plains,
Mountains in the distance,
Hawks on our wrists,
Flung skywards
Full of prayers

What’s on my mind…

Deep blue evening,
Round pebbles making water speak,
Hung around your neck
Wear me,
And I will wear you,
Leaning on the tree to big to move,
Breathing in you
Breathing out you
In and out moving
Into darkening
Cool

What’s on my mind…

The room The screen The words The end.

Time Pass

Sometimes I see the young people here
Posting those ‘dreams and desires’
What they will do what they will be I fear
Time makes most of us liars
We never intend to
Time swiftly to spend do
Most of us are so sincere
When we are young people here

I talk to a few age mates now and again
None of us are doing what we dreamed ‘back then’
No one is married to that old flame
Hell half of them can’t recall whose name….
Made ’em feel like dyin’
Made ’em give up and quit tryin’
Back when we thought real was the ‘game’
And here we are again

I try not to dream too much anymore
Focus in only on the things I can perform
For I learned now way too late that is the core
To get what you want you gotta get torn
Gotta suffer some loss
Gotta pay up some cost
Without becoming a ‘whore’
Trying to get where you’re aiming for

I know a few kids who know what if means to fight
They know what it means to sacrifice ‘party night.’
They know deeds mean more than words
They don’t talk much about what they’re ‘gonna be’
‘Cause their already going
On their way knowing
They are DOING all the things that other people SAY…
They’re on their way….
They’re on their way….
They’re on their way….