Tuesday, September 2, 2014


  They’re all bastards! Lousy bastards! Feeding on the weak and undermining the whole. I’d stand to call them on it but don’t feel like putting a target on my forehead.
  I wander the streets, leaving the desperate alleys till daytime, keeping to the illumination of the streetlamps, the conical sphere of light, like a halo that protects. I’m not fooled into any false security.
  Today, I watched them kill her. I was frozen. Couldn’t move. Her eyes locked on mine, begging, pleading, without words, hoping for the last chance, the last out. Paralysed, I could only return her gaze, fish-like.
  Guns fired and I returned the shots, standing, delivering, like all those Saturday afternoon movie heroes did. Bullets sound different whizzing inches from your head.
  I ran. I got out of there knowing. Knowing there was nothing I could do to change her fate. Nothing but catch a bullet.
  Out of breath I found my home. Checked the street for anyone following me. Heart racing, pulse pulsing, I remained in a shadow. Ready. Ready to kill, ready to kill.
  Just beyond the light I heard the shuffle of feet. My finger tensed on the trigger. Trying to focus on the shadows I squinted and listened with my whole being.
  “Jack”, my name was whispered across the night. “It’s me, Hank.”
  I let the words fall.
  Decoy? Friend? My mind split. “Trust nobody.”, my mind said. And I listened.
  I saw him turn and signal to another further in the shadows. I let the shadow hug me, smelling danger. I could hear two voices, Hank’s and one other. I didn’t recognize the second but their intent was clear. I had to be gotten rid of.
  Her vision was haunting me. Bringing me back to her, to her final existence. Holding me by the neck with a Herculean death grip. I shook my head, gentley, trying to rid my mind of her sight. Trying to focus on the dangers at hand.
  Their plan was made. Hank would watch the front of the house, the second would guard the rear. How to silently kill them? How to kill them and buy myself the time to escape? And to where? First things first. How to silently kill.
  Slipping to the back of the neighbouring house I could see the outline of my victim. My ticket to freedom. Watching him intently, I stumbled over a clothes line lying tangled like Time. Yes… it would work perfectly! I held my breath, listening, making sure my stumble hadn’t caused any alarm. The figure paused, then lit a smoke.
  I reached into my coat pocket, undid my jackknife and cut a good length of line. Putting my knife away, I then wrapped the two ends of the wire firmly around my hands. Making quick loops in the air, imagining the neck in the disappearing opening. Wondering how much noise and how quickly death would come. Scenes from The Godfather flashed my senses.
  The cherry on his cigarette glowed like sapphire, he had brought the butt down to hip level, and before he exhaled the clothes line held him securely. The violent commotion of his arms flailing, legs jerking, and the realization that his cries for help were forever trapped in his stomach, added to his will to live; his vigour in the action of his last moments.
  I felt his struggle cease. His body fell like a hammer. I unravelled one end of the line from my hand, still not sure if the deed was done. Clasping the two ends of the line in my left hand, I grasped his head with both my hands and with all my strength reefed his head to one side with the intent of spinning it around a couple of times. I felt the neck break and lowered the body with the line to the ground. Pulling the line free and listening to the silence.
  One down, one to go. I wondered what it would be like to kill Hank. How long had we known each other? I made my way through a couple of backyards, and then cut to the street. Hank was two houses away.
  He didn’t know what I knew. Before leaving the house’s shadow I drew my knife and slipped it a bit up my sleeve.
  “Hank!” I hurriedly whispered, approaching him in mock terror. “Hank, what the hell is going on? I think they’re trying to kill me.” Hank turned. I was right up close. I could see the whites of his eyes. My left hand reached out and firmly gripped his right wrist. The knife slid perfectly into my grip. And I plowed it upwards and deeply under his ribcage, pulling him closer with his own wrist. I looked him in the eyes the whole time while repeatedly plunging the knife into him.
  While the pinkish blood bubbled from the sides of his mouth I told him I knew why he was there. I told him his other friend, like himself, were now food for the worms. No point in letting him die thinking I didn’t know.
  I pulled his corpse into the bushes, took his money, and went into my place. Dazed and soaked in blood I wondered how much time I had. I quickly stripped and started a fire. No reason to leave any hard evidence. While my clothes burned I quickly cleaned up and packed a bag.
  She kept a hold of my mind strongly. The thunder roars as I try to squeeze my eyes that much further closed to remove her from my sight. She remains.
  How did it all begin? The Boss, Hank and myself sitting in The Lounge. Business as usual. A knock, the door opened and there she stood. Looking cool as a cucumber awaiting the proper rituals of introduction of a lady entering a room. Her being demanded that these politesses were observed. I stood first, the rest followed suit.
  Her voice broke the full silence with a tone like glass. She asked to see The Boss. Hank instinctively replied to her. Hank was an expert. He was there to protect The Boss and that’s just what he did. I instinctively patted my gun for personal reassurances. The last years had been unstable, to say the least.
  That was four months ago, and today it all changed. The hierarchy shifted and crumbled.
  Two months after that meeting she was The Boss’ right hand. I didn’t mind. I never thought about doing anything except what I did. Some of the others, the old-timers, felt overlooked. But this wasn’t some democratically run business. What The Boss wanted, was. And now she is dead, as well as Hank and the nameless one.
  I felt like I was being railroaded. Since I woke up that morning I had felt like I had bought a ticket and was taking the ride. And now I had to get out fast.
  Oh, if my plans could have turned out the way I saw them in my mind. Funny, how nothing turns out quite the way you had it planned. Sitting here, disconnectedly, the pieces and the path seem so obvious. How could the signs have been missed?
  I broke my cardinal rule: Never trust anyone in this business who applies to your emotions and not your reason. She was fatal from moment go. I had grinded the gears and jammed it all into Overdrive for her.
  Awakening to the sound of a car rushing past my place I stepped away from the window. No shadow, no target. I held my breath and listened to the wheels fade, evenly. I looked around, silently said my goodbyes and headed for the back alley. I figured I’d be safest without my car.
  The night was warm, a breeze soothing, the moon behind a cloud-like blanket. I had what I needed and moved quickly. The city sounded quiet, too quiet. The shadows hugged me and I hugged them back. On Lexington I hailed a cab.

In The VIIIth

  “Shit, doesn’t the fucking heat ever let up around here?” I heard my voice groan through the room, waking me up.
  I wasn’t looking for an answer to the question. I didn’t expect one. I hadn’t heard a comforting word from the chair in weeks.
  I knew it was day by the shouts of the gypsy kids in the courtyard, screaming and tearing around on their old bikes, the shouts of the mothers, the endless yelping of the stray bitches.
  This heat had started months ago and there seemed to be no reprieve. Even the summer thunderstorms this year seemed too short and just a bit impotent.
  I am dying.
  Not of old age, well maybe but not in the sense of accumulated years, no more like old age of the mind. Burned out body, burned out will. The doctor had some word for it… I forget. We can get to that later. What needs to be known now is I’m dying. And pretty fast.
  In my waking hours I am attempting to put my life in order so that when it all flashes in front of me there won’t be any big surprises. When I am not in deliriums I try to do it chronologically, other times as the events come up I remember as much as I can about them, catalogue them, and rest a bit easier.
  The beautiful rhythms of this language flow over me. I have lived here for 3½ yrs. I know the basics. How to ask questions and understand the answers. Order food, beer, and women. The essentials with a little icing added on top for good measure.
  Even Eastern Europe seems to becoming tame these days. I was talking w/ a couple gurls, (they are prostitutes who live next door), and they were complaining about how the cops were starting to give a shit. That the cops had begun doing their jobs and weren’t so interested in the little bribes of money or trade which use to keep them out of trouble. Shit, you know somewhere is going to the dogs when the cops are going straight.
  I want to sit up but feel no strength in my body. This happens. It will pass. For now I look at the insides of my eyelids and attempt to centre myself. To create a perfect balance, to find my centre and move from there, move through there. Weird, peacenik meditation shit, but seems to work.
  To say nothing ever worked out right for me would be an overstatement. I should say nothing ever worked out all the way for me. Never seemed to get to the end result. Always getting hung up somewhere along the way.
  My mind wanders through the verdant landscape of my brain. Years come and go as easy as the buses into and out of a station. I can feel somewhere deep in my memory the feeling of a grey spring day. The trees had all blossomed, the spring flowers were a blanket to the newly thawed earth. It had already been hot and sunny enough that I had had to take care not to burn. But that day was one of those throw back days. Ones that gets thrown into the mix to remind us where we were coming from; the cold earth hardened winter.
  The wind howled against the windows of the apartment I was in. At that time in my life it was like every other day. There was never any future at that time. How could there be? The world was open to us like a flower. There was always a couple of good friends, a few bottles and a stage set for crazy potential.
  On this particular day, and I remember this clearly, Jackson and Robbie were there. We were talking shit. Complaining about never having enough money to pay the bills, buy the groceries, that sort of talk. It was within that conversation of continual woe that we struck upon the idea that has me lying here dying. Jackson, last I heard, hustling the streets of Mexico City and Robbie already having met his maker long before any of the pay-off even came through.
  What I can’t stand about this dying business is that I will no longer be here. Sounds trite as hell but it’s one truth I’m not so looking forward to. Shit, I mean I expected so much more out of life.


  “These greats truths that I know are nothing more than mere reflections of what they are understood as. How does one respect and honour reflections?
  Spring in its lush colours, contrasting the showers that will bring… ah, damn.”
  Looking out over a valley the thoughts of how many more of these plagued his thoughts. This was the second time in less than 48 hours that he had crested a mountain top and thought this time I will see the end, civilization.
  The valleys spread out to the horizon. It would be days till he got out. Assuming luck was on his side and he found clean water, good shelter from the beasts at night, and a clear road. Scavengers and pirate-rangers were all about lately. Never a good sign.
  He set his surviving belongings out by the side of the road to take an inventory. Field first aid kit, 2 pair dry socks, two changes of tee-shirt and underwear, toothbrush and paste, 9mm pistol, 3 extra loaded magazines, 2 boxes ammo, 1 hunting knife, 3 precision throwing knives (handmade), length of rope, 2 maps: one a topographical map, the other a road map of the area, a compass, 3 boxes waterproof matches, 1 set of German made binoculars, ¼ kilogram of C4 explosives and detonators, a picture and a promise.
  He quickly re-packed his gear and went a few hundred feet north to where he knew an old goat track existed. He would be unseen from the road. It would help him a little. And the easier the better. The strong scent of lilacs filled the breeze.
  He sucked a couple of times on his teeth and then spat on the earth. There was blood. “Damned rotton teeth”, he thought, “I’m going to need a boast of vitamins.”
  The burning in his lungs and legs was beginning to fade into a euphoric sort of state. “1 hour at this pace, half an hour at ½ this pace. Just like in training. Training. Damn that seems a few decades ago.”

A Hooking Moment

  The late sun, still strong, kept him in the cool shade of the beachfront bar. Joe’s bar. Joe built this bamboo and leaf bar. Damn nice really.
  This heat made it hard to know if you were drunk or delirious.
  Around five a group of young local girls met at the bar. The poetry of their lingering language danced through the open room, up through the palm fronds, up through the hot sunshine, up to the heavens.
  They all noticed the stranger immediately upon entering.
  There had been whispers. Cupped-hand communications, flashing eyes, and giggles. The conversation grew more stern for a moment or two. Then one of the girls broke from the group in order to approach the stranger.
  Young and shy, she paused a moment to compose herself. To try on the new layer of life.
  Looking up, over the rim of what seemed and was a table almost full of empty glasses. The one he was looking over happened to be ½ full. Joe had wanted to clear the empties but the stranger insisted he leave them. Physical evidence of his existence, of the damage.
  She thought about how small the distance was from the bar to the corner. The biggest distance travelled was from her village, her family. Like most of the families around here it was a large family. 7 or 8 siblings were born, but not all survived.
  She had dreamed of being a doctor. And there had even been a chance. A scholarship being donated by the village doctor. But she was too young to go to university. And the village couldn’t wait the 6-7 years it would take for her to finish secondary school and then complete her degree. The old doctor wanted to retire. The scholarship went to an older student.
  And now she was crossing the floor. Eyes softening, mouth up-turning into a smile, her body beginning to move like one of the girls who had taken so much pain and effort to teach her.
  The stranger lowered his gaze a bit to look at his reflection in the nearest glass. Is there a target on my forehead? Am I a mark? Of course I am. No matter how native you go you will never assimilate. Non-native is non-native and it doesn’t matter where you are.
  The stranger glanced around quickly and realized he had always been a stranger. School was a textbook nightmare of the new kid syndrome; a mark, a target for the bullies. Seven schools in ten years before he realized he might as well pack it in for all it was worth. And here, even here, tucked away in paradise in his linen suit he still stood out.
  Perhaps this will be different.
  The sun’s rays now slanted across Joe’s almost horizontally. The stranger looked up to see a silhouette, shift, blinding light, shift, a silhouette… with a smile. The summer cotton dress played lightly over the girl’s body. It was a fine body.
  There was a moment. Two people, face to face, unknown to one another. The expectation of meeting, inevitable. The tone is set, the stage ready. And time still stretches; and when it’s just about ready to slip off the scale the stranger nodded his head. One slightly perceptive movement that opened the path.
  She sat, delicately. On the edge of the chair. They looked one another over exchanging body measurements, physical scars and beauties.
  The stranger sat still, eyes travelling. – Am I dreaming? – Time was all he had and he liked the prospects of the future.
  She sat stiller, eyes travelling. – Why doesn’t he speak? – Waiting to see how her future would unfold.
  The stranger’s eyes stopped on hers. He tilted his head to indicate whether she would like a drink or not.
  “Yes, thank-you. A drink would be nice.” her English was slow and with little traces of an accent.

Friday, March 7, 2014


                      cuts like a knife
thru the fabric of Time & Space.
  All connected in the ripple of a moment,
All remembered forgotten.
You stood in that early morning light, smoke a wreath of victory,
Swirling about yr head, keeping yr hair in check.
Unknown to you, I was not asleep, but drinking in yr early
morning sated soul.
  Love? Bah! Far too simple a concept for what flowed from you to me.
But in that moment, as in all, I felt you.
  Now, years & miles keep us apart. You are a memory unto a memory;
sans mort.
written Oct 24/13 for Orsolya

Saturday, November 30, 2013


“That my breath does not come w/out some difficulty, does not surprize me. My throat is constricted and my heart o’er filled w/ emotions aimed at you. I thought I’d walk away, just leave w/out yr blessing, w/out yr scent on my body, w/out any of all the beauty and serenity you instill in my day. My heart beats and my heart breaks, for I can’t remember ever loving you only halfway. It was 100% and now I pay the price of losing you, 100%. Yr voice on the phone made me want to crawl thru the line to touch you, see you, be w/ you. I fight and try to tell myself things aren’t what I think. But they are. I love you. Completely. And I am ripped asunder at the thought of you & I apart; perhaps even in some other’s arms. I screw my courage to the floor & try to do what is being done w/ the best of my ability. I am sad. I am broken. I am dreading being w/out you. Sorrow has made my day another colour.”


“… her simpleness is what struck me first. Not plain, not indescript, but simple. A light glowed from her eyes and smile. A warm flame burned in her heart. Unlike the beautifully distinct , she had a countenance that was like a canvas a thousand Michaelangelo’s could be painted on.”