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October has returned once again, this month of falling leaves and pumpkin everything. The weather has begun to change, and the slight drop in temperature brings with it that inevitable sense of longing. There’s just something innately lonely about watching your breath leave you, as if even that which sustains you has grown tired of residing within you.



I’ve moved my sweaters to the front of my closet, at any rate. They've waited patiently all year for this month, as if to say, we, at least, are still here. So while my fleeing breath becomes intertwined in the steam rising from my tea, I find solace in too-large woolen sleeves pulled over my fingertips, my knees curled up to my chest.



The wind blows slightly against the exposed part of my neck, sending a shiver up my spine. It would make sense to go inside, to curl up in a mass of blankets, but I like it out here. The crisp air reminds me that I am alive, in this moment. I am awake, and it would be foolish to close my eyes against the fire of the Autumn leaves as they float around me, whispering fervently to go, do, be



October is stirring inside of me, tugging at my heart in a way that only October can. This is a month of hot tea and many layers and the murmur of thoughts unspoken. It is a month of longing, but also of hope. And I smile as another cloud of my breath rises with the wind, leaving me for adventures unknown.


 

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The tile floor is surprisingly cold against my feet as I walk across the kitchen. I grab a chair as I pass by the table and drag it toward the window. That’s probably not very good for the floor, but that’s what it gets for being so fucking cold. 


Maybe I’ll go put some socks on. Then again, that would require walking all the way back across the kitchen to get to my bedroom. After a moment’s hesitation I decide against it. I sit down in the chair and tuck my feet underneath me.


Outside the snow is falling. It’s heavy enough to stick, but that’s pretty much it. The older stuff on the road has already turned to sludge, its earlier whiteness violated by the dirt and grime left behind by winter-worn tires on winter-worn cars. I dig my toes further into the creases of my sweat pants.


The streetlights begin to come on just then. They blink into existence in a wave up and down the street. Beside the neighbor’s mailbox one of them flickers, as if it can’t quite muster up the energy to remain constant. It’s a good thing mailboxes don’t have epilepsy. Can you imagine that? An epileptic mailbox. It would seize violently, letters frothing from its little door and the flag on the side flailing all over the place. And all the while the streetlight would continue to flicker, either completely oblivious or possibly just sociopathic.


A car drives slowly past, interrupting my train of thought. It passes the flickering streetlight and the decidedly not epileptic mailbox, its taillights blurring behind the falling snow. I wonder who’s driving that car and where they’re going. Do they even know where they’re going? 


Sometimes I contemplate getting into my car and driving to who knows where, but I never do. I never have anywhere to go. But maybe we can only figure out where we’re going once we get there. Now might be a good time to try it, leaving, that is.


Then again, maybe I’ll just go put some socks on.

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The ghosts are out in force tonight,


dancing with the wind and whispering


to the moon. But she doesn’t hear them, 


or maybe she doesn’t want to.


 


For her face is scarred by the footsteps


of fleeting travelers drunk on stars,


or rather drunk on the echoes of stars,


who died so many years ago.


 


And her belly is pierced by stoic


flagpoles who cry out, “I was here first!”


But their cries are lost in the cosmos,


left to linger with the space dust.


 


Don’t they know that the stars have no use


for the flying colors of lost men?

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I lose you for a moment 


as you exhale slowly,


smoke rising lazily from your lips


and obscuring your features.


 


You offer me your cigarette,


your finger covering the head


of the little blue camel who sits


in a desert of burning white paper.


 


I accept, making sure not to bother


the camel with my fingers,


and take a long drag,


closing my eyes as


smoke and chemicals seep through me.


 


I exhale,


and my eyelids flutter open


and take in the sight of you 


standing beneath the stars.


 


Your eyes smolder 


as you reach for my hips


and pull me close,


the cigarette still burning


steadily between my fingers.


 


You don’t speak, 


but your kiss speaks for you.


I love you, it says.


I love you too, I reply.


 


When you finally pull away


the taste of you lingers,


sharp and sweet


and unquestionably mine.


 


As I bring the cigarette back


to my lips, I see that the blue camel’s


feet have burned away, and I laugh.


 


You don’t even ask what’s so funny.


You just laugh with me as our


little blue camel burns.

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daredevil stars jump from the heavens


   their liquid lives falling through my splayed fingertips


      dripping patterns in the wind


 


the flickering streetlamp overhead keeps time


   with the jazz playing in my ear


      sounds of the nightlife whispering dances in my mind


 


all the world sleeps 


   while I, I, I sing with the moon


      and dance through the cracks


         left behind by the dreaming


 


for the cracks are where true inspiration


   hides from those not willing to seek it


      for the cracks are where we fall


         when we have nothing left


 


nothing left but the desire


   to fly where others would stumble


      to create where others would destroy


 


tonight I walk with bare feet and open hands


   my souls converging with the fluid cosmos littering the empty street


      while my fingers work to write a new day


 

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The time has come.


The time is now.


The regularity is here.


In our hearts


and minds


and skin


and bones


and teeth


and hair


and fingers


and toes


and


 


Stop.


 


Breathe.


 


Take a minute.


A minute to wish upon the clock,


to wish away our fears.


Think, for this minute, about the dreams 


we hide in our souls,


the dreams burning to be realized,


on fire all the time, on fire 


in our minds.


Dreams of tomorrow,


of today,


of yesterday.


 


Because what is this life


but a dream?


A hazy mist that we float through


along the stream,


the stream of our consciousness.


Row, row with all our might.


Learn to fight 


the current. Fight the attempts of the weak 


to hold us back.


 


Because we deserve this.


We earned this.


 


Take each day to find the patterns,


and the patterns within


the patterns, and the rhythm within 


the patterns, within the patterns,


repeat.


Wash.


Rinse.


Repeat.


 


And record.


Record this journey we’re taking together. Record 


as we burn on


and on


and on,


as they burn on


in the stars, as they flow and sing.


Sing a nebulullaby, a song 


to sing us all to sleep 


so that we might dream again. Repeat 


this whole crazy minute again.


Over and over and over again.


 


Maybe perhaps we’ll get it right.


One of these days we might just 


get it right. But we’ll never know 


unless we try, so with painty hands we’ll do 


our part. Live life to the fullest, 


and leave fear in the dust.


Minute by minute we’ll create and record.


Again,


and again,


and again, 


by heart.

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