My alias precedes me,
even if my history doesn’t.
A Nantucket sailor on a whaler?
Not absurd though it sounds as if I’ve been around;
from classroom to classless seafarer, dare I
step away sight unseen from the Merchant Marine?
A man obsessed and depressed in Manhattan,
following death as she follows me.
Ahab’s Pequod offers refuge in this centrifuge
chasing the great white; following death as she follows me.
Narrator, philosopher, sometimes poet. You know it
isn’t easy when you’re among only men adrift at sea.
Let me introduce myself. I am Ishmael. Call me.
The results from the lab were in, but they could not detectany regret in my voice. It had been my choice to stand by you; friendstogether, a second chance for us to right what so often had gone wrong, one last time. Taking note of your fragility and your need for constant rest, the best I could do was to care for you and be true to our connection for your protection and my own. My conscience would not allow me to make that same mistake, where I took leave of my senses and you. Translated: your illness made me sick.
Tarnished and dented; a bauble of a bygone day. In a wooden cigar box; keepsakes both, with little more function than that. The stem fused to the casing, the workings have retired. But,
it has inspired me to find the link. The contents of the box play like a road map; clues to unravel the mystery that is my history. The key, worn and encrusted with years of dirt and oils from feeble fingers.
It lingers in my hand for a moment, its uncertainty secured. Papers, folded and bound with a frail rubber band line the bottom of the box. A visa document, possibly a first issue wrapped in a tissue to protect
what it meant to an old Polish immigrant determined to become all that America had to offer. Naturalization documents, meant to pronounce his acceptance of a lifestyle long sought, and their acceptance of him
as one of the free and brave. The camera buried amongst the treasures, bellows cracked and torn, a forlorn instrument with which a part of his life had been preserved. It all deserved a better fate, but it is too late to shed
a single tear from your eyes for its demise. The puzzle is splayed before you, the detective of your past. A torn swatch of a fabric, hues faded but shades of blue and red and white pressed between pages.
Finally, one last piece remains. A photograph. a dark and handsome young man; heavy jacket and a fedora pulled down across the brow. Intermingled with other similar folk unconcerned for their purpose.
But the subject stands tall. Proud. Posed to save this moment in memory, and upon this daguerreotype for long after. In the background, Lady Liberty stands strong. In his hand an American flag clutched to his chest.
A chain from buttonhole to vest pockets and a key as a fob, a cinch to keep his pride from bursting. It insinuates the only part missing was the watch that sat tucked close to his left hand. A trinket; a remembrance
of the father he had left behind in Igolomia, Poland to claim his dream. It remains strong in your own heart as the box that holds your Great-Grandfather’s declaration secure. You are sure the timepiece marked his life as well as your own.
There’s this gut feeling that has you reeling in your boots, And the debate between having balls or a lot of nerve is moot. Life is a crap shoot; the target on your back puts you in the game. But the same feeling (that has you reeling) is also steeling your resolve. For one to solve anyconflict there is a need to find the courage to take a stand; fight for your right. Even if it has you up all night.
On the edge of reason, we watched and waited. We hated being helpless, and I guess we hated being the target of hate. Many were functioning as they normally had, but then every man, woman, mom and dad had much to explain to minds that could not comprehend. It had sent a strong message, that we should be ever-vigilant and can’t let down our guard. It is hard to preach trust when the thrust of such extreme proportion penetrates our collective spirit. They thought they’d split it in two. It is true that we fight amongst each other, like any “sister” and “brother” but let another interfere and we’ll be here united to fight it tooth and nail. We had stumbled, but did not fail. May God continue to Bless America!
Heart-to-heart, they were warriors; hand-to-hand combatants suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous accusation. Shaken to its core, the love once shared is no more. She held firm, her tongue in silence and all thefierce violence he had perpetrated only exacerbated their animus. It was a blessing that her ruggedresolve would hold her; solid marble with a tender touch. In the remote reaches of her time-worn soul, she saw herself a vision in splendor and grace. The memory of his face was filed away like the other cows who attempted to graze in her verdant pasture. The bastards should have known, Love is a battlefield.
The void is deep and expansive,
and I sit in a pensive mood.
No good can come out of
wild fantasy and schisms,
mystic midnight visions
that play with my psyche.
It might be that when I drift,
floating by my tin can, I am
Major Tom. Slightly clueless:
a mess with little control
of my faculties, or my course.
I cry out, but no one hears,
and my fears of irrelevance
though unfounded, are drowned out
by the silence of the heavens;
a cosmos that deafens.
All during the interview, she remained one of the cool customers, keeping her thoughts private. Confidential. The memories of that moment were a blur, but clarity unmercifully came to lift her fog. Emotions washed over her in waves; once again she felt violated, ransacked – leaving her again to feel broken and isolated. She sits weeping inconsolably, his hideous face revisits her with all the charms of a tire iron to her purity. Wishing she could trade that visage for a vision of one more caring and compassionate, offering a healing touch, a sensitive ear; a glue to mend her fractured self. She felt the fool to think there was a man whose love could make her feel whole and clean and mended. But there she was, cinched by his caring arms wrapped around her heart like a belt holding up her psyche. It made her feel brand new, like a sticker declaring her “Improved!” Love heals all!
Your pencil remains
pointed and true.
It is you who wields
in defense of others;
a true and trusted love.
A friend in the human scheme,
your words mean more
with each re-telling.
I am buying what you are selling.
You will be missed and
we are diminished for it.
For it is truly a sin:
when we give in, the terrorist wins!