Echoes

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I whisper
I listen, pulse building in my chest

who’s listening
who hears me
who understands?

I scream
again in the darkness
no one is there

 

chuck a stetson © 2013

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In The Air Tonight

there’s a girl
by the fountain
eating marshmallow pies
and yet…

Two fish swimming in a plastic fishbowl
going ’round … going ’round … amuse the
calico cat watching in an out-of-mind groove,
ears back, dark eyes fixated on orange and gold —

perhaps some distant feline memory moving
below plastic rainbows, through red and purple
feather silk, in and out of faux sculptured lava rock,
swimming to the bottom and back to the top.

ice and snow
her soft green field
yields the midnight sun

Hunched, ready for attack, the calico cat chirps
a sigh and rolls over offering quick cut-time bats,
his paw tapping against the plastic fishbowl, soft

at first, increasing in rhythm as curiosity with
orange and gold movement, stopping, starting,
wiggling and diving in no particular pattern or

voices down the corridor
her pretty boys laugh
from far away

with intent. Across the room, on the windowsill, a
smartphone rings, catching the calico cat’s attention.
The two fish resume swimming, going round… going

round… counterclockwise in the same old story. And
I’m consumed with their movement: gold and orange,
stopping, starting and wiggling —

groovy… n’est-ce pas?

© chuck a stetson 2013

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With or Without Her

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cry no more tears
stop chasing shadows
on a road rapidly aging —

I remember my grandmother cursing her dead
brother Edgar; his haunting her wasn’t unnerving,
it was inconvenient —

Uncle Edgar liked to appear to my grandmother
after the first eight minutes of Jeopardy aired,
imploring her to go with him back to the other side —

her youth unfolds
past scattered thoughts
again and again —

I can only imagine Uncle Edgar’s confusion as his
youngest sister told him to fuck off, her salutation for
her dead brother breaking through her incoherence —

my grandmother’s wild-eyed cacophony met with sighs
and nurses running for medication as she conversed with herself
in strong French influenced English —

things to touch
hide into nothing
and she feels as if
she’s in a play —

many times I listened to her story of her father’s refusal to sell
his white horse to the gypsies on Easter morning, and how that
white stallion died a day after Jesus’ resurrection —

“Nom d’un chien… un d’ours,” she liked to say as she worked
an invisible iron skillet, cooking crêpes for lumberjacks over a
long ago campfire, “I shot that bastard bear,” she insisted —

“fair thee well”
the curtain begins to fall
on what will come once more —

and the truth is I’ve been thinking of her final days at
Crestfield Manor, and how I miss the smell of her paper-thin
crêpes browning in her butter-oiled iron skillet —

but your Edgar’s tale enthralls me to no end, how cool…
a horny time traveling bipolar jumping between dimensions
forever searching for his true place —

the day past yesterday
turns out its light
and calls out her name —

I’m not one to judge the veracity of a bipolar time traveller
jumping between dimensions in search of the perfect pharmaceutical
cure for brain dysfunction and sexual maladies —

we’ll talk later when we meet-up at the Landmark, this Saturday
or maybe next Sunday? Maybe your Edgar has met my grandmother,
maybe he’ll share tales of my grandmother’s out-of-this-world crêpes…

the queen of hearts
or a maiden from the coast
with or without her
no one really knows her illusion.

© Chuck A Stetson 2013

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In The December Grey

after Satan laughs
it begins
there will be no Vicodin today

In the parking lot a shadowy figure mumbled a kind of

hello. At first I thought him a hallucination, but with the

sun breaking through the bleakness and codeine deprivation

 

vice-gripping my brain, I recognized Gary’s black onyx ring

loosely fit on his crooked right ring finger. How I hated him, once

a friend, now a specter, a haunting reminder of when my boys

were young and I still called Fran my wife.

 
more ghosts jump from
a worn Altoid’s tin

Gary lit a hand rolled cigarette; desolation swirled around his acrid plume.

I breathed in the heaviness; I exhaled a tired breath.

 

knee-pained

buzz-deprived

sweat, chills… damned this crawling skin

 

Why a computer programmer chose to rob banks after his divorce, I’ve no

answer. Eight years in a Michigan prison, a lifetime… shit, prison life is an

oxymoron; his soul’s forever an inmate. His children, his friends, all moved on.

 

I knew this about Gary…

 

$40 for 20mg

Satan accepts credit

Gary doesn’t

 

And my lockup is measured in cravings, milligrams, broken promises and

disillusioned children — mine, Fran’s, ours. There will be no Vicodin today,

I am broke… broken in the December grey.

© chuck a stetson 2012

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Me

some people ask
what’s going on in my head
not understanding
the visions colliding
colors mixing
the home fire’s choking
oh no no…
my thoughts running
from the day to day
where I’m nowhere
found in the lost

© chuck a stetson 2012

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Her Storm

fog and wind
humming past
hemlocks bending
orange leaves dancing
my heart breaking

she’s gone
her receding tide
once a little girl’s laughter
lost in the fog and wind blowing
past forgotten times

© chuck a stetson 2012

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Torn Sails

he said:
corral that boat boys
go out on the ocean
you and your brother
riding wind, rain and laughter
to ports yet visited
a voyage not for me
for I set sail long ago

© chuck a stetson 2012

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