Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Group Story, 12/23/09

Written by the combined forces of Paul Adolphsen, Brenda Buchanan and Laura Grafham

L: Belinda was agitated beyond reason. The meeting with her grandfather had not gone as planned, and her birthday dress--the one with the white flounce--had been dirtied by her dog Jackie. Yes, a damper had been put upon the day.
B: What a quandary to find oneself in. The matter at hand was of utmost importance to her, but as to how to approach her grandfather in a way that would garnish positive results, she had no idea. Every time an opportune moment came she took it, but always ended up being brushed away with a slighting wave of the hand.
P: If only her dear mother were still alive--her mother whose hands were always soft. Belinda walked from her grandfather's room and haughtily slumped on the setee in her family's drawing room. Biting her lip and tapping her toe she thought about what to do next...
L: She hated when other people pouted, yet it was the only thing she could think to do next. So pout she did. Looking out the window at the landscape--the sweeping cityscape of Boston would soon give way to the pastoral fences and fjords of Maine. She didn't know why the Penberly School for Girls had chosen to expel her; the mystery remained unsolved. Nevertheless, she was being sent away against her will. There was nothing she could do about it now.
B: She was afraid of grandfather. Not in the sort of way that one is afraid of the dark or of the sea, but she was afraid of his disapproval. Belinda craved her grandfather's approval; she always tried to be an object of pride to him and the thought of his disapproval was enough to keep her in her chair. She pouted because it was unfair, unfair that she was expelled. She was tense because she was frozen with anticipation, awaiting her grandfather's sentence to come down with distressing finality.

P: "Fire!" The frantic screams of Belinda's grandfather jolted her from her deep sleep. She sat up in bed, startled. Jackie, who usually slept with her, was nowhere to be seen. It was a feeling of absolute terror that she became aware of before she smelled the smoke and felt the oppressive heat rising from downstairs. Coughing, she leapt from her bed and stumbled into the smoke-filled hallway. She peered down the stairs and saw the hunched and shadowy silhouette of her grandfather making its way up the stairs.

Renting Rooms.

They rose to the sky
wooden mountains confined
to square footage.
Two stories high.
Yards that fit snugly
into my back pocket.
We walked,
one panting
and tied to a string
and one wishing
to be free from everything.

This dog,
Someone else's drooling canine,
not mine--
leads and pulls me
to places
where I can hope to
pay the bills.
Where I can make bread
and wait for the yeast
to rise.
Where you can afford
a pair of red wool socks
to replace the hole-y ones
your mother made for you
in college.

Turn up the heat;
the temperature of our house
should reflect
the temperature of our hearts.

Drywalled beams and nails
and happy slapping dog tails
while the house is dark
save the spark
from something in your eyes
that has never known sleep
but does its burning
amidst churning shadows
and still air
and peaceful breathing.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Hit and Run.

I may have murdered
made a hit-and-run
encountering a seagull
wandering mid-road

Birds could just as well be people,
climbing the air like stairs
and steeples
of air currents.

I saw
and tried to
death impend
but I'm afraid it was too late.
And from my mirror rear view
the bird's head spun around
cocked to the side
in gruesome twist.

Tendons, veins, yes.
Feathers of course.
Blood, always.
And as its little body lurched to live
with its flea-ridden
seagull head snapped
by a well-made Swedish sedan
weighing over a ton
I ruefully drove on
thinking of how many other beings
I would wound unintentionally during my lifetime.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Written really late.

He speaks in toothpicks.
Spells the T R U T H as he
whittles the wood
till it forms the curves of individual letters
bending the linear to fit personal ideals.
His own sprouting human.
He can level you with his eyes
and with a whisper
fell the largest strongest tree in the forest
but he doesn't know it yet.
He has made me feel the guilt of ten thousand felonies
with the best of intentions.
My brother is made of magic.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Magic God.

There was a man named Francis who had no teeth. Every day he would put in his dentures and ride the bus. All day, every day. Every day except Sunday. On Sundays he would drink cold coffee made the day before and feed the pigeons outside of Saint James Cathedral downtown. He would then take the 74 bus home and crash on the orange hide-a-bed in his studio apartment.
One day, Francis got on the bus to find his usual seat occupied by an elderly man in a pork pie hat and blazer.
"Pardon me," the man said, "I seem to be taking your seat. Would you care to sit?" The frustration Francis had felt melted away with the man's words; they were quaint and old world. "That's alright," Francis replied, his shoulders loosening. He grabbed hold of the overhead bar. I quite like standing."
The man smiled. "Suit yourself," he replied, as he tipped his hat. Suddenly, without warning, the bus lurched forward and Francis was thrown to the floor. The bus driver yelled at the car that had pulled in front of her. "Damn drivers taking up the entire bloody road! Look where you're going!" Francis picked up his false teeth--fallen on the floor--and put them back in his mouth. He turned to the seat of the elderly gentleman and asked, "you alright?" But he realized that the old man was nowhere to be seen.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


you in the loo,

your body throbs and your muscles quake and you are twenty, barely shy of twenty one. Your face is paile and you kannot sea wear ewe goh. Fever en sues. Wat iz diss iey stumble to dee bahthrume. The inhilations do not come and go with ease. Blood fights its way to your fingertips with rapiers, arguing through arteries ohh noh. Not thaat. pleas kno.

Cigarette poisoning. Carbon monoxide asphyxiation. Eventual death. Fetus complications. Lack of circulation. The surgeon general does not recommend my stupidity.

As I bow to the porcelain god I begin to understand.