Where do your nightmares come from?
He watches the others climb aboard the soul-train looking for meaning, looking for a vacation from the petit-bourgeois flock. Some are pretty convincing, like hobo cosplay. Some don’t even try, showing up in their whitewashed Adidas and clean, holeless blue jeans.
“It’s all good,” he thinks. Let them have their fun. There’s some as like to play. There’s some as needs to follow the surge in their veins. “Not that addict shit,” he murmurs to himself. If drugs are calling you to roadward, you’re a slave, not a wayfarer.
He developed a litmus test for the more convincing ones to see if they were brothers born of the wanderlusting womb. He uses his “crazy homeless guy” speak when he says the following words:
“I seen the doorway. The one what hangs on harmony hinges, what opens onto the fields of unrest. The wind that blows there courses through my veins from my daddy’s seed cooking in momma’s womb, an’ I follered it! Ya’ kin me?”
After he asks the question he looks to see if their eyes are glazed over, or if they’re bright, or if they answer him with, “Yep. Reckon that’s how I came to be,” or some such. That’s how he knows who is road brothers are, who came from the seed of the wind.
Sweet is the air when the lights flow across the serpent-time sky, when my mother’s womb is finally quietened and she no longer demands her children return to her laborwaters, her ocean.
My sighs in the morning, like dandelion seeds on summer zephyrs, call my evangelist’s heart awake to the good news, good news that blows the horns of the morning soft into the dawn-gate.
The air. My breath. Gifts that lie on the thin threads. The thin threads that reach. The thin threads that reach to my ear and whisper life and joy and wonder, my catharthsis, my apotheosis, when all darkness has fled from the marching sun.
When Rome came north into the gray, the seat of the West was lost for awhile in the mist where time counts days by crows. I fear that old bridge where they live, crossing the midland waters gathered for the sea.
The indigenous all tried to beat back the Italian menace, who left eventually. But their middens had a life of its own. It took a while, a long while. And one day the sun never set on the West, and the city by the river had its fingers curled about the whole of history.
When I think about it I don’t know whether to be proud or ashamed. I am a child of this city, distantly related, like the son of one of its favorite whores who got a mind of her own and decided she didn’t need a pimp.
The crows caw the hour on the bridge over the northman-road. The Queen’s time piece calls for prayers. But I am speechless
I’m stuck in the ether, up to my neck in plasma angst. A voice summons the fear geists from beyond and down. Always down. All my anchor chains rattle as I feel the demons worry them, like maggots on a corpse. My muscles are flaccid, impotent, and bewitched with abyssal bindings and wards. All my wisdom is washed away suddenly and aborted, like an unwanted infant. The fear geists have gnawed through the chains, my anchors are sucked into the mud of oblivion and I am adrift on the ether. It washes over me. I inhale. I cough. I sputter.
My body groans in protest. It pleads. My mind cannot hear. It is tearing down the rails rattling all the screws loose. It is running as fast as it can. It wakes the body, pleading for help.
“Help me! Help me, please!”
First to fight, the truculent warrior feels the impact of his foe’s thrust on the breastplate. It twists his torso as it skitter’s to the edge. It hurls him akimbo as it bites the groove and finds some purchase. He bleeds, just a little as the weapon, deflected off his plate, gently kisses his soft, exposed inner arm. It tears his sleeve and his new tattoo, the one that says, “Life is a sham, Barbara!” His foe smiles. Her teeth are so white and straight. It’s infuriating.
His blade has bound to her haft though, and he will stay in that bind. His life depends on it and victory is there also. He smiles back and leaps forward, dragging the strong of his blade along the haft.
She tries to maintain her greater measure. Tries to free the point from the bind. But his onslaught is too quick and he dominates her center, like an unwanted suitor, never accepting her refusal, her “no”.
So she steps off the line.
She accepts his blow on her bracer. It is hard and powerful. Her bone gives way within it, but the flesh is whole. Whole and swelling from the bone-blood.
Through unnegotiated, pain-seared vision, she chokes up on her haft with her unbitten hand, all the way to the socket. She is paid for her sacrifice, as her zealous foe loses the bind and fills the center she yielded to him. She plunges the glittering steel like a dagger, dragging the haft behind, and takes him in the far eye. But the rim of his helmet wrenches the weapon’s bite free before it can find his soul and unseat it from his brain. Even so, his screams tell her he will never forget this. But he keeps his sword and his guard, for he is fell and used to grave hurts.
Eye-gore hangs from the gape now. It flings blood as he spins to face her. Her face and chest receive the sacrament of Mars and it races down her cleavage. Races down to love her, this god.
They disengage and reassess each other’s measure. Her one arm is swollen tight, throbbing to doomsday’s drums and useless. His face is mangled, half blind, and his ego screams at his folly, his flaccid uselessness.
The blessed chrism flows away from me. This is not special. I look into my truth-sphere. O’ glass globe, reveal! It shows me the way. But I cannot see past my anxious curse. My thralldom. The draggling thing that leaves me in my fear awaiting the chain-breaker.
“There is no chain-breaker.”
“You are the chain-breaker.”
And the dust shrugs at me before it catches an electric breeze aloft, and I am alone again in my sleep with my Mother and my Father arguing over my worm. But there is a seeping of the plasma that lives and I breath it in. I remember my way for a moment.
I go now.
Worry just foots a bill, it never pays it. When I fill my hat with it, my head still fits. Let’s you and I think on the good things. Like a coat in winter, there is always something to keep you warm, even if it’s just breathing’.
I like breathing. I have plenty of food. I don’t have Nazis or fascists. I have a home. Gratitude. Gratitude is the thick leather glove that keeps the sparks off when you stoke the fire.
I am grateful.
I’m grateful I can write. I’m grateful I can write total shit like these lines and still have my Nazi-less food and shelter. I’m grateful for my hat, ‘cuz it makes me look dapper.
I was reading my published work last night and I found typos. I’m grateful for a published work with my very own typos. I’m grateful for being able to laugh at the fact that I have probably read it 20 times and I still find them.
I’m grateful I can read.