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Literature
1983
i can't see 
her
she
is the color
of oxygen
the deepest
atom
of rain
and i
am
breathing
just to
see her
:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace
:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace 0 1
Literature
the third phase
After 20 years of walking with you
I've learned to keep my head above water
learned not to breathe
where soporific grief
dwells deep in blue currents
where once I survived
the warm refuge suspended
absorbing the language of oceans
at once the burden and release
of a full bodied soul.
After 20 years of walking beside you
the air vibrates freely
fills my lungs with all that is nomral
and gray
and I belong now
among the waking
dreading evening for its testimony
when in dreams I'll witness
the sound of surrender.
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:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace 1 3
Literature
Considerations for another September
There are always back seats
and rough hands to charge her emptiness
when she sleeps
in the passing of a lover
and wonders
in the middle night
why her sheets
are clean and cold
and there is no one
about whom she wraps 
her arms
now hanging limp at her sides.
She stares at the ceiling
and tells herself
it is still white
and remembers
how it was white
the last time she stared up at it
her back flat on the bed
rhythm beating down
into her spine:
how foreign the color.
1983
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:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace 0 0
Literature
Subtropical Highs
I don't string beads
along the equator:
I take a trip
without a lover
I dance a mile
like a tightrope walker
I open my hands
like a child-beggar
a sixties song I cannot remember
haunts my brain 
with fleeting measure
These things are ceramic
    that you cannot hold tightly
These things are glass
    that fall and shatter
These things are bubbles:
    air and water
These things that will not
    bond together
The oldest woman dies of laughter
The strongest man still sinks in water
They could not stay alone forever.
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:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace 0 2
Literature
Lawrence Craig Greene
He makes the rain
sound like moondrops
She tells the time with her eyes
He grows the snow in a bottle
drunk on the sunlight
She had a terrible fever
he blew the flickering light
god, how they fly when there's no wind
fueled by the struggle
shaming the night
Send her a letter from Saturn
bring us a cup of your shame
tell us there's no place 
to bother keeping a record,
writing your name.
:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace
:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace 0 0
Literature
Following the Rain 8-7-6-5-4-3-2
The Eucalyptus
outside my window
has fallen for November 
And we are whithered
this tree and I
Tired and spent
in the driest days of August,
choking on vagaries.
Now summer sleeps 
in back-lot rituals
where lovers
trade thirsty hearts
lips drunk with fusion:    
his feral desire trapped,
her unruly rhapsody snared.
Awake til the not quite light
I dream in liquid delirium:
desert vast and vacant 
the road vanishes in steam
on the warped horizon,
our final words hold vigil.
In the morning
branches persist
in an old glass vase,
rain drops remain 
on the sage green leaves
The ruby bark blooms
with things left yearning
while deep sonorous thunder
summons the rain again.
For now in this moment,
I breathe it's electric pulse
to remember who we are
to believe far away
in the dark hypnosis of his eyes.
:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace
:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace 0 4
Literature
Purification Rituals 7-6-5-4
I hold no joy no pain no ecstasy
in a corporal cage:
my spirit flows into the walls
occupies the library when no one is there
floats in the aqua pool under the sun
leans its elbows on the counter
stained with a ring of last night's wine.
It haunts the upstairs room
where no one ever goes
becomes a thing of animation
stirring when I'm in love
like a dozen owls in the attic chamber
hungry for the hunt.
The sea-green walls vibrate
with eager ghosts
the joists holding up the ceiling
diffuse a holy energy 
at my gaze shifting sideways
In the morning
(windows wide open)
I wait for the storm
to seize my sanctuary.
:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace
:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace 0 0
Literature
for a little while
Our fingers trail the unimaginable 
our bones seek stillness
Restless again, we are wish-makers 
teasing out truth 
overheard by sapient oaks
that read our lips in whisper-language
shake their heads in wind
frowning at our half-myths
and seasons of departure
Still we go on believing
in wild tessellation: 
the terrain of my body
embraced upon yours
dreaming tragic indiscretion
could make us whole and unafraid
if one day we could wake
somewhere fused by brutal chemistry
cold rain falling on our shoulders
and words like these
(unnecessary names for things
undone) would fade away.
:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace
:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace 0 3
Literature
Everything
I hear god in the snow on the road
that speaks of trails 
and poppies beginning
of brown birds that lift and float from the meadow: 
a joyous motion of weightless departure. 
And if I tried to bring you with me
it was only this: 
I didn’t want you to miss anything
like today— the wind over the tips of green
the owl burrow at the edge of the pasture
Or the old tortoise behind the fence
running as he does
but you were ready to leave 
like the light brown birds, 
your fleeting migration begun.
This path preaches peace 
though it warns of hot dry seasons 
of something scavenged 
 and brittle with drought. 
The struggle will continue 
and I will exist for the days  
when green invites me 
to listen to a trail made plain 
by new grass. 
 
So I will reside in harmony 
as you slide away
Bring flight to my intention 
uproot trouble and stagnation
rest and return 
to the place where I
:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace
:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace 0 4
Literature
In the Hands of the Dead
Laura leaves the world wanting more. Learns fast and moves faster. Her mother is part of the Hawaiian upperclass and sends Laura to spend summers learning about native island culture. During those months she lives like her ancestors in grass huts. She learns to weave mats, baskets and bracelets. She eats poi and travels by canoe. 
When we’re ten, she comes to my birthday party. Brings me a present that looks like it belongs in her room: a circular box of cerulean porcelain with a renaissance style unicorn contrasted in white on the lid. She explains it to me. Takahashi is a potter in Japan. On the bottom it says “Unicorn in Glaze.” It bears the potter’s symbol: a Japanese character that looks like a double T. Her sepia, thin hands are careful and precise. She describes the art of flow blue. She is president of the Jr. Philharmonic Society so we giggle, raise one eyebrow, when she uses a gavel to call our group to order.
In high school German class she tells
:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace
:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace 1 1
Literature
The Red Jag
The loneliest sound I know
comes before dawn on a Sunday morning:
Your engine
strikes up the band
in the garage below me
and fades away to a dull ache
The neighbors are relieved
when you go
and drift back into sleep
pacifying themselves with
low curses
In a minute
I'll go downstairs
babe in arms
and look around
I'll put the kettle on
and make breakfast
for your tall son
and look around
Then
tea and baby
I'll sit on the couch
before a table
littered with catalogs:
clothing, garden supplies, toys
I'll pick one up
then throw it down
Unable to remember
what I'm looking for.
:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace
:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace 1 3
Literature
This is the Lesson that Follows Me
This is the lesson that follows me
the ring on which i will hang my keys:
remember how love settles inside
absorbs all that is familiar
how easily it enters the body
and how easily it leaves
sliding soundlessly away.
And when he goes
how little he finds to say
and solid his goodbyes;
how light his footsteps as he walks
and how vividly you recall his breathing
so perfect and gentle on your breast
as he closes the door behind him.
How sure he is
that ending is beginning
and how you must
with all your strength
believe him.
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:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace 2 8
Literature
Things Permanent
No, I will not love you forever.
Here is a lie I cannot tell you.
Few things are that long.
Do not corrupt me
by saying you'll never leave.
I know few permanent things
lifeless
my hand print in the cement
of my mother's back yard.
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:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace 0 0
Literature
Seventeen
My sister's innocence
       has left on the 6pm train
       has taken leave of her body
       has gone to bring the boys home.
My sister's innocence
       fell down the stairs
       drank purple champagne
       took a free ride.
My sister's innocence
       laid down laughing
       laid down dancing
       laid down the law.
My sister's innocence
       was stripped in flight
       was tricked and treated
       was passed under the table.
My sister is innocent.
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:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace 4 0
Literature
The Rambler
History leaps
from the slow butane
of his bic.
He smokes sweet
tobacco
and I speak through
years of restless anger
that he dealt me
like a fine hand
of bridge.
Caught in the early
tug of childhood
I attribute my oddities to
acute injustice.
I believe in the Father,
the Son
and the Tarot on a Friday night:
I discuss my affairs with the cards --
His ace of swords triumphs.
This time
I will not bleed.
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:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace 0 0
Literature
Figures For Space II
Smothered in seven a.m.
mourning doves called me to consciousness
from the fence outside.
I began to hide from goodbye
as it searched for me
beneath sheets and found me
wrapped in your arms.
Surrender then
my sleepless eyes
to the still naked
Laguna streets.
Shore lines and street people
hint at a night just past
while I had been watching
this day come up in your eyes
as we sat
jazz drenched
light washed
near midnight.
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:iconmyfallfromgrace:myfallfromgrace 0 0

Groups

Seems like I'm always leaving Long Beach. Not that I don't like living here. Just that there's always a reason to head south to Laguna or north to L.A. I can drive these freeways with my eyes closed. I will admit that he wears a lot of black but I'm not gonna judge a man by the color of his clothing.

Only twelve hours gone now and I can't quite remember his name. I can see him though. Standing on one foot at the corner of Broadway and Cherry like he would topple in a gust. The 710 freeway that circles the city looks like a simulation of itself today: sailboat masts in the harbor, the carousel on my right and the tallest buildings to the east competing for sky. The Toyota Grand Prix races here every year in April because it snakes around like Disneyland's Autopia.

Was it Louis? No, because he doesn't feel like a Louis. His hair is dark and unruly. The glint of silver in his pocket that I chose to ignore: Someone named Louis doesn't carry a concealed weapon. A good gust. And there had been one. Clouds gathering tight and dark over the ocean. Rays of escaping sunlight dazzling shop windows on Broadway. The scent of wet asphalt and thick drops beginning. He smiled like he was in on a conspiracy with the atmosphere.

I can't keep still. The 710 North looks inviting but I could just as well stay home. Walk to the beach at 4:00 when the wind picks up. It was okay until he stood at the threshold of my apartment door. Before that he just walked the city talking about how I should speak so that he could understand. I still don't understand. But he did. Just lucky I guess. Or maybe it's the way I speak to animals. He is wild like that. 

Laundromats and car washes and dollar stores. Not a good part of town. He grabs my arm and ducks into a shop that smells of smoke. The sign over the door says "Eye Of Cat" and that's when he lets it out that he's a witch. Not a warlock?  No, a witch. He's on the small side. I squint looking for a glow or something. He's more like a wood sprite. Something peering at you from behind one of Arthur Rackham's trees. He stares into a case of long, sharp tools and his face reflects in the glass.

In Long Beach you can live alone and never be lonely. On Sundays everyone is on their postage-stamp porches sipping coffee with their cats. Kites rip through the wind above the oil derricks off shore. Men with fishing poles pass by on their way to the sand. This is perfect solitude. But not so. It's just like me to ignore signs. The dagger fits in his pocket so it can't be more than a few inches long. It's brightly polished and when he removes it to show me I can tell it's a thing of beauty to him. His ownership, somehow a rite of passage.

I move to the door of the witch store with its heavy sandalwood air and inhale the exhaust from the traffic on Broadway. He follows me outside, so shrouded in his pleasure he does not sense my fear which, to be fair, I've learned to hide pretty well. I say, "Let's eat" and lead the way to the Potholder where you can get immense omelets any time of day piled with all kinds of weird vegetables and sauces. It's always crowded inside the Potholder because it's famous in Long Beach. The building is old and made of brick. The walls are thick and the windows dusty.

The witch-boy is vegan. He studies the menu. He might be twenty to my twenty-five years. Colorful murals plaster the brick walls, right over the grout and grit, distorting the already strange images: The eyes of an elongated orange horse gaze forever from the abandoned porch on which he stands near a crazy bright green cactus. I already know I want artichoke and hollandaise and hash browns and he is wondering about the spinach. If it's cooked in butter.  He must weigh less than 100 pounds which, without a dagger, wouldn't make him much of an opponent.

Having diffused something of the occult with breakfast, we head back to the shore via Broadway, then west on to Second Street. The rain is picking up and I'm ready to be back in my space. I'll write sitting on floor pillows in my tiny, 2nd floor apartment with hung windows on two sides that look out over the bar on one side and the oil derricks on the other. Deteriorating 1940's wooden stairs will be slick with rain and my cat, Weezie, will be sitting in the window sill waiting for me to let her in. I'll reach up and stroke her damp fur and open the windows and the scent of night blooming jasmine will mix with the ocean and the rain and it will be a perfect recipe for casting my own kind of spell. 

As we near Grenada Street, I'm thinking how to say goodbye to him before he finds out exactly where I live. There is no doubt the day was magic. His long black coat billows out behind him in the wind and black boots splash with every stomp in the puddles. That common ground, the rain: When we came upon each other at the Upstart Crow this morning, he was in the cooking section and I was reading lesser known poets. We communicated with an energy unique to people who love storms. I was feeling high in that way that makes smiling easy. Rainy days are probably the only time you would call me approachable. And I recognized him at once. He was beaming while reading about subsistence farming. Silver rings on his fingers, a silver cuff on his petite wrist, and that edge of light coming from the pocket of his black jeans.

It wasn't long before our bookstore conversation moved out to the sidewalk, down Second Street to the bridge over the bay, down Ocean Avenue that dead-ends into the sand unless you turn north on Pacific Coast Highway. We just kept walking, this little man and I. Cities yield strange friends. And friendly strangers. And strange strangers. In Long Beach, you live with them all. You don't want them all to know where you live, necessarily. As we near my apartment building I consider passing it by. He is talking about his birth parents, his adoption at 8, his lover waiting at home for their evening ritual. He tells me that sky-clad means nakedness and this is how they perform their ceremonies and the object in his pocket somehow plays a part and I'm ready for him to stop talking now but we are at the top of my stairs.

Weezie's tail hangs damp over the window ledge as she watches us ascend to the door with its blue paint peeling in the damp salty air. There is not the usual Rasta music droning from under my neighbor the weed seller's door. In fact, the entire street is pretty empty today. Beach people aren't much for rain I suppose. The witch has an expectant look on his face and I am not good at disappointing people. Still I don't wish to participate anymore in his Wiccan dream, fascinating as it is. I wonder if I've led him on. If he's thinking that social norms don't apply to witches. That he can pull that card no matter what I say. There's nothing left but for me to fish my key from the pocket of my jeans and be civil. Offer him a beer. Some ice cream. While I feed Weezie pieces of baloney I bought for her at the liquor store across the street yesterday. 

"It's been a day," he is saying, backing down the stairs, black coat billowing, black hair wet and weighted over his eyes, "I'll never forget." The stairs disappear under him as he drifts backwards over them, dark eyes still smiling. "Catch you at the Upstart Crow," I call down. He turns now and his boots slosh out to the street and east back to Second Street. I unlock the the door, slip inside as if I am being followed. I am. Weezie is at my heels asking for baloney.
  • Listening to: Blue Jays
  • Reading: A Ring of Endless Light
  • Watching: Scrap's tail whack things off my desk.
  • Eating: walnuts and hershey chocolate
  • Drinking: coffee too late in the day

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myfallfromgrace
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Artist | Literature
United States

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Comments


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:iconjjackm:
jjackm Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014   Traditional Artist
Thanks he is quite a painter. I took a workshop with him, rcsexton.com/
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:iconjjackm:
jjackm Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011   Traditional Artist
I'm glad you like the painting, it is hanging in a show now, no ribbon though.
Reply
:iconmyfallfromgrace:
myfallfromgrace Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011   Writer
...yet...:)
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:iconyouinventedme:
YouInventedMe Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2009   Writer
Reply
:iconelenabazu:
ElenaBazu Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
thanks so much :hug:
Reply
:iconyouinventedme:
YouInventedMe Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2009   Writer
thanks for the :+fav: on this is why we don't have nice things, my dear


:heart:!
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:iconbeaple:
Beaple Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2009
I've just ruined a perfectly good shirt trying to pull it over my newly inflated head - no thanks to YOUR complimenting me.

A lot of good you've done me.

(see? like it was sarcastic, but now it's not - it's literal! I wish I could say I did that on purpose - but it was realized post facto [after the fact])
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:iconmyfallfromgrace:
myfallfromgrace Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2009   Writer
yeah i had to take logic / latin in college ;)
(enjoyed the shirt visual) :D
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:iconbeaple:
Beaple Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009
lol, I was being redundant. Post facto sounds almost self-explanatory. Although someone could have possibly thought I got cut off and meant to say something about the Post cereal factory. Then we might have a whole different issue. And we'd need bowls.
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:iconmyfallfromgrace:
myfallfromgrace Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009   Writer
unfortunately post does not make coco krispies so i will pass. :D
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