an apple in the bathroom

The Apple

 

 

an apple in the bathroom
a prose poem

 

There’s an apple. In the bathroom. It’s been there for a while.

Months. Maybe years. It can’t possibly be years. It feels like years. Things don’t change.

It hasn’t gone bad. It’s been cold. And apples have that way of lasting forever. Back in the day they used to put them in barrels.

Because they had a lot of barrels. And nothing better to do.

But the apples lasted.

It’s a little pitted. The apple. In the bathroom. It’s not rotten. But it’s a little pitted. I’ve seen apples. In the supermarket.

That were worse.

I won’t eat it. Not even to make applesauce. Because it’s been in the bathroom. For months. Maybe years.

That makes it dirty. Everyone understands that. It’s meaningless. But everyone understands it. I don’t have to explain.

It isn’t rotten. But I wouldn’t eat it. Even if it hadn’t been in the bathroom. It isn’t rotten. But it’s dead.

That happens to apples. They look fine but you bite into them and they have no flavor. Their sisters had flavor. But not this one. It looks fine but its spirit has fled, and took everything about it that matter. Only the pulp remains.

Sometimes I feel like that. Sometimes.

I think about throwing it out. At times I don’t because I know I would miss it. I don’t care about it but I would miss it because it’s in my life. Like when you break a mug that you never really liked. And you have more than enough mugs. But it’s sad because it was yours. Now it’s gone.

Or maybe I don’t throw it out because I don’t notice it. It isn’t anything. Trash turns to clutter turns to scenery. A stain on your wall that’s been there for nine months isn’t a stain. It’s texture. Why throw away a single leaf that’s fallen off a tree in autumn? There are so many more.

But mostly I can’t be bothered. On those certain days, days when I have no flavor, even throwing out an apple is too much. Picking it up and chucking it to the bin is too much. I could do it. But it won’t matter. Why does it matter?

One day I’ll throw it out. Maybe because it finally decided to rot. But probably because I just want to. Some piece of glass will dislodge from my brain and the clutter will turn to mess. I won’t think the apple is interesting anymore. I won’t think it is beautiful just because it is there. Out of place. A goldfish in a slinky factory.

So I will throw it out. And I’ll feel accomplished because it’s been there for months. Maybe years. I’ll feel cleaner. I’ll feel triumphant.

Then, soon, I’ll feel sad. I won’t regret it. Not really. I don’t need an apple. In the bathroom.

But I’ll feel sad. Because it was there. Because it was mine. And then it was gone.

 

Writing Time?

Sad Day, Good Tea

All day long
I think about my writing
Planning my scenes
hearing the back and forth of dialogue
so sharp
you could put it in a salad dressing
dreaming up plot twists
so twisty
you could put them in a series of cocktails
then sell them to college students
for way too much

As I’m driving,
I barely see the road,
I barely hear the drone of my audiobook
which is about mindfulness
and the irony
almost escapes me
because I’m weaving words like cloth,
spinning tales like straw
into the good quality string cheese
mixing metaphors like pasta
being mixed
with other stuff

While I’m working, taking calls,
I speak to the customers with my voice
and my mind steps away
into to realms with black sunsets,
where knights, armored in stars,
fight quasars, with tortured pasts
and something to prove
to their sisters
or something

Then it’s time to write,
and I think
you know what, this might not be the time for this,
I’ve got other things to do,
like maybe I should just play cup and ball instead
that’s so meaningful, so fun, how could I resist
and I know
I don’t have a ball
no big deal
I’ll just hold this empty cup
for a while

Caffeinated Mindfulness

Mocha !

I take a sip of coffee, dark roasted into anthracite of Arabica, swirled with the luxurious tropical tang of coconut cream. It rushes into my bloodstream, into my senses. I can’t tell the difference between the chemicals blocking adenosine between my neurons, or the psychosomatic reaction of my hot wet love affair with the aroma, with the taste, with the feel of it on my tongue.

My third eye snaps open. It was asleep. It’s usually asleep. But it’s forced open by the thunderclap of caffeination outside its window, blasting through sleep paralysis, it jolts up in bed and stands at attention. I close my other two eyes. I take my first breath. I begin my meditation.

I take my second breath. They are the long, slow, deliberate breaths of the practice. The same ones that I take when I am calm. What do I look like, to the bodhisattva ghosts that haunt the space around me? Do I look at ease? Do I look rested, because I breathe normally, and because I am not moving? Can they see the thousands upon thousands of lightning bugs that rest upon my skin, waiting to burst into action and light up the night?

I am not rested. I am not calm. There is more to peace than stillness. If nothingness is the true state of perfection, then perfection is flawed. I am a bundle of bundles of charged wires of a hundred different polarities that only exist in the dreams of electrons. Instead of a place without thought, drifting like leaves on a stream, the inside of my skull hosts so many thoughts, so many sensations, in such a reckless state of effortless agitation they are indistinguishable. They are white noise. My mind is a serene cacophony of beautiful tension.

I realize there is no such thing as silence. There is only deafness. In the quietest room in existence, there is still the background radiation of the infant universe. The scream of it’s birth. Not a scream of agony, but an agony of triumph. An impossibly massive explosion in an impossibly small instant, bursting outward from a single point of infinite inertness to a furiously rushing sea of endless potential. The loudest shouts that could ever be, so distant when they reach us that they have become a caressing whisper. If we cannot hear them, it’s because we lack calibration. Because our ears are too small.

It swirls around me, within me, throughout me. These thoughts and this noise are me, and they are not me. They are larger and vastly more important, and smaller than the Planck scale. Less relevant than a single crumb of food that cannot feed a mouse so small it suffers wave interference when it tries to pass through two slits in a scientist’s lab.

It is exhilarating. It is exhausting. It lasts forever, but when it ends, as all things end, it has written a poem in prose in my head. A distant reflection in arbitrary symbolic representation of the chaotic, tranquil, nasty, perfect glory of the experience of trying to meditate after my third cup of coffee. But I will share it anyway.

Together, In Fuzzy Blue

twokitties

 

There’s certain kinds of poems I write but would never post, because they feel too silly, or too schmaltzy. These are written in moments of unmitigated emotion, and in those moments I just have to use the occasional cliché, or express a feeling in a familiar and comfortable way. Ironic distance need not apply. It feels very exposed, and even though I’ve told plenty of people I’ve barely met about my most embarrassing moments and, uh, private proclivities, there are some things I don’t like to share. Despite what my friends might think, I do have something that vaguely passes for dignity, even if the rules of such don’t make any sense. But seeing my kitties like this drops all of my defenses. So here we are.

Together, In Fuzzy Blue

Sometimes
I lose myself in you,
here, in our place,
on the fuzzy blue blanket
next to the laundry basket
and the empty popcorn bowl

I forget where my tongue ends
and your fur begins,
which one of us is purring,
which one of us last bit the other
on the neck
a little too hard
defending the vital patch of ground
near the wooden swivel chair

Later, I’ll remember
that we’re felines
and we have our dignity
and that I’d whap you in the face
for the last scrap of tuna

But right now
I know none of that,
there is only the blue fuzz
and the purring
and you
here
with me

They Have Teeth

Strange tree trunk

Another 37, Day 14

I’m not quite sure what I have against wood, lately. Anyway, here’s another horror poem! But I quite like I this one. It sort of formed in my head while I was working and supposedly concentrating on other things. It’s been running through my head all day.

 

 

wooden teeth
They Have Teeth

just so you know
the trees have teeth
they like to eat pork
they’d rather have beef

but if they can get it
it needs to be said
they prefer the soft tissue
that lives in your head

you’ll never see them
though they’re always bared
they hide in the places
you’d rather not stare

if you see them glisten
in the venomous night
you’d best strike their form
from your mind and your sight

for if they ever realize
we know that they’re there
you won’t want to breathe
what they leave of the air

so there’s only one truth
that I need to bequeath
just forget that I told you
the trees, they have teeth

Limericks, Malebogia Style

Sock Zombie Puppet

Another 37, Day 12

I seem to be in a horror mood again. Which is kind of a shame, since the serial novel I plan to slowly write over the next year or so isn’t horror. Oh well. These phases never last. Anyway, I’m always in the mood for limericks! And by always, I mean never. But ever since that passage in the second Harry Potter book spoke of a book that made anyone who read it speak in limericks for the rest of their life, I’ve been practicing. Just in case. So here are a few that I come up with while dwelling inside…whatever pit of midnight-black and clown-car yellow you need to splash around in to make horror limericks seem like a good idea.

 

Limericks, Malebogia Style

I can’t get enough of your blood
it flows from the hole like a flood
just one little nick
with this nice sharpened stick
and you fall to the ground with a thud.

We found an old book in the attic
inscribed on the skin of a haddock
we tried a spell
and it worked pretty well
except now my own brother’s a paddock.

I heard a strange sound in the night
it was dark so it gave me a fright
then came in a thing
made of darkness and wing
and began to devour the light.

There once was a man name of Sutton,
he finished the last of his mutton,
then he looked at the town
and said “screw it I’m down”
before pressing the very last button.

Lacey looked down at her grave
quite depressed that she couldn’t be saved
but there’s always a lining
hell, her future was shining
time to go out and be more depraved.

The blood on the knife, how it shined
and there’s no way those ropes will unbind
time to go watch some Grover
the day’s almost over
and there’s more than one way to unwind.

Jessica seemed ordinary
so no one knew she was a fairy
at night she stole kids
parents blamed it on SIDS
and never did think to be wary.

Heavy Meta Verse

sound waves - low volume

Another 37, Day 5

The words to this song
are the notes to the tune that is
based on this song that I’m writing,
right now,
I hear behind me the electric sizzle of the guitar strings
screech away
like synapses
in my brain, that imagines them,
loud and resonant and screaming all around me
I hear it, and it moves me
to write the same song
that is playing

It sounds like the taste of a madeleine
I dipped into the tea of my waning years
when I was just a child, short and intense
and balding
with giant eyes within which I sat,
staring at myself
through the lens of the letters
of the lines of the words
you are reading right now,
a memory I just invented
inspired by a dream I plan to have
tomorrow about my future childhood,
from way back then
back when things weren’t done yet

And the song is a conversation
at the same time
with itself,
recursive
letters, in a script you can see if you stand
far enough away from this poem and watch
as it flows

A song which becomes aware of itself
once you let it go
fire it out of the cannon of words into the battlefield
where the waiting audience waits,
hungry
to devour it,
but right now it’s embryonic,
as it discusses itself with itself,
unable to know itself, unable to set,
underbaked
if you stick a conceptual toothpick in the middle
it comes out gooey

And now I, the poem, the song,
unconceived, in progress, complete,
will finish myself, with myself,
aware that my awareness is a lie
and that the words that make up my bones
and my ambitions are just pixels,
that make shapes,
that make letters,
that make words,
that make lines,
that make verse,
written by a writer, who is me, but won’t admit it
because it would disrupt my poem,
and because he’s a writer
and we’re stubborn that way.