Cold rain falls in the river, flows down to the sea, gets into the skyline, circles endlessly. Same old rain on the wind, same old pain in my soul.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Search For The Perfect Perfume

Dear Reader, This is a very long piece and I expect no one, not even my most faithful to read it. I've been writing some longer prose lately and I just put it out here to be out here. Please feel free to move past it.~rick

Do you remember the smell of the cafeteria when you walked down that long sloping narrow white-tiled hall after mornings last class? When the lunch ladies giggled in the kitchen and recess bled through the tiny windows?
The smell that delighted rather than repulsed as the day before?
The plain round ladies in puke yellow dresses giggle because just one of them, just last night, got good and fucked and the infection spread among the brood like candy from the Christmas parade with every child scrambling for a taste.
No broccoli today and extra sugar in the Kool Aid. Do you remember?
Recess was five minutes longer.

Daddy's old spice after Tuesday night's shower.
Momma's kitchen on Thanksgiving morning while Macy's convinced you, you were really there.
Grandpa's pipe and the cloud that framed his smile.

And that cute brown haired girl who never spoke but sat in front of you in English class. How the stirred air awoke you when she returned from bathroom break, and how your jeans lifted and twitched.
The July hay field you peddled past on the way to dreams just over the rise.

And Bethany, on the shore of that autumn lake with the pretty name. Deep under the moon, deep into the night, deep into her. Your senses were filled with the flow of magic. the water, her hair, her kiss, her moisture, all coming together in a fragrance that would shame April lilacs.
All of these, and more. Making perfect sense as one.
That's how the perfume was described.

I had been walking through the forest when the white raven came from behind me and settled on the limb where she became the woman.

Like jack while on a mission of simple survival, suddenly confronted with the notion that giant beanstalks laddering to golden eggs really can exist, if only we dare, I sought a price.
She cackled from the limb supporting her perch.
"Why, child, the only price is your ability to achieve."
And with that, she tossed it to my reaching hands and flew away.
I sat down against the tree to study it.
Orb shaped it was, neither heavy nor light. It just was, as if beyond the possibility of gravity.
I held it to my nose.
No roasting turkey
No old spice
No Bethany's sweet cum.
Just a ball full of nothing.

I began to peel the layers away one by one and one by one they disappeared but the orb never grew smaller, and each layer, once free, grew wings and flitted out of sight.
I grew restless and walked but couldn't remember where or why. I just wandered the forest releasing magic butterflies into the trees.
As deeper I trod, the forest grew deeper as well and dusk settled on my efforts.
Just as dark was reaching its apex, I stepped into a small clearing of light.
In the middle of this light was an ancient sage sitting at a small primitive table mixing a potion.. His white hair curled and tangled secrets deep in its wild weave. His white beard rested his lap. His fingers stretched and knotted like oak branches steady as their roots.
Above him, hung a tiny moon watching over his shoulder, with sleepy eyes.
Without so much as a glance, he spoke.
"What is it you seek, so deep in the forest?"
I held out the magical orb.

"I seek what lies within."
"Hmmmm, yes, a noble desire no doubt."
He lifted the glass holding the potion and one-eyed it through his tiny glasses. Then, as if truly curious, he asked, "What would you do with it, should you achieve it?"
The answer required no thought.
"Just know it."
His moon had grown dimmer so he reached and stroked it gently and fresh light covered our conversation.
The sage then set the glass back on the table and took the orb from my hands. He turned it and studied it.
"The trick," he said, slow and deliberately. "Is to open it from the inside out." Then he handed it back to me and resumed mixing.
"Well, how do you do that?"
With no change of expression he replied, "You must love it before you have it."
I thought for a moment but only grew more confused. "How can you love something you've never known?"
"Ah," he raised a long gnarled finger. "That is what you must learn."
I paused in frustration.
"Um, ok -how do i learn it?"
Finally, he smiled slightly and looked up.
"Why, my boy, you already have."
Then he leaned back and reached up to stroke his moon again as he studied me. He then leaned forward and rested his chin on his closed fist before asking, "That girl, the one at the lake long ago, did you love the scent before you knew the moment?"
It didn't even strike me as odd he should know.
"I did not know the scent til then."
He threw his hands open and his eyes twinkled in the lenses. "Precisely!"
Then he continued. "And your fathers after shave, how many times did you smell it before you found it lovely?"
I shrugged and tilted my head.
"Just once, I guess."
He leaned far forward and thrust a crooked finger at me.
"Right again! Inside out."
I squatted down before him and rolled the orb in my hands.
"You speak in the way of wisdom," said I, "but still my dilemma remains."
He lifted the glass once more, eyed it carefully, then set it down and pushed it towards me.
I looked at his deep eyes, ancient lines, and then he whispered, "You need to go."
I looked around at the walls of thick black and wondered, go where?
He tapped the rim of the glass.

I dipped my finger into the clear liquid, brought it to my lips as he watched expectantly. There was no taste, no strange sensation, and his eyes closed gently as he nodded.
I lifted the glass and drank it dry.
As I felt nothing new or queer, I raised my palms wide in silent ask.
The old man's eyes narrowed kindly and he pointed over my shoulder. I turned to look and my eyes fell upon a trail of light through the darkness. I quickly turned back to ask the sage of it, but he was gone, along with his moon.
All that existed was black nothing and the trail of light, which I chose to explore.
I walked only a short time before coming upon another trail of light to the left. I entered it, and immediately found myself upon the shores of a long ago lake. I followed a familiar scent along the moonlit beach and found Bethany, in her youth, lying upon the sand naked, as she masturbated to the rhythm of the waves.
I walked to her, to ask her why she was alone.
Her eyes were closed and when I reached down to touch her, she turned to tiny white wings and fluttered away.
I smelled the damp sand, tasted it, hoping for a trace,
But there was none.

The darkness started to gather and close around me, threatening to swallow me whole so I turned and rushed to stay ahead of it, back to the original trail. When it I achieved, the only light I could find was to my left.
As I followed it, I watched behind me as the darkness followed my steps.
Not long after, I found a trail to my right and turned into it, the darkness waiting where I left it like a well trained butler.
Once in the trail, I came upon a round middle-aged woman upon a bed. She was wearing only a hairnet as her squash coloured dress hung from the bedpost. She was on all fours and a fat ugly man was fucking her hard.
She squealed and sloshed as he smoked a cigar and drank a can of beer. She reached between her legs to help herself along as the fat bastard watched baseball on the TV in the corner. He slapped her ass hard when Roger Maris got a double, and his dick must have grown two inches because she came in a wild flood  just as the winning run scored.
I walked closer to ask why this made for better smells in cafeterias, but they grew wings and off they flew into the darkness before I could smell any pizza or a graper kool-aid.
This journey continued and repeated until the trails ran out and all my memories of lovely fragrances had been tarnished.
The only spot of light remaining was where I stood. I held the still many-layered orb in my hand and decided the woman had deceived me for her own amusement. There was no flawless perfume, no perfect fragrance, and no perfect memory.
Then the light at my feet rose in a gentle bloom and I found myself at an all too familiar tree. Looking up, I watched a white raven land on a limb I recognized, and the white raven became her once again.
She smiled and spoke.
"Did you achieve?"
I held the orb up.
She pretended a frown and said, "What seems to be the trouble?"
I turned my eyes to it and replied, "It seems whenever I peel a layer away, a new one grows within."
"That's true," She offered. "Each layer is a moment and for each moment past, a new moment is born."
"So," I puzzled, looking up to her, "The riddle has no solution."
She said nothing but bent down low and softly blew upon the orb.
Instantly the air was filled with white wings that lifted and landed among the branches of the forest. Above her head I could see the sun and moon standing side by side. Rain fell from a starlit sky while soft white clouds swirled through the trees.
I looked into my hands and the orb was gone. I had felt nothing. But then the most beautiful fragrance well beyond imagination filled my being and filled the forest.
I smiled as never before and looked up to the she-raven.
"Disappointed?" She asked
"No," I answered. "Pleased beyond all hope. Tell me, what do you call it?"
"I call it "Now"
And with that she changed again and joined the other moments in the trees.

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Colours

I wish I could swim
or even float as flotsam
in the colours of my life

not as grandeur ocean
or rolling, churning river
but as hurricane,
me, the all seeing eye

greens and burgundies
aqua and sunset
as up I carry
in a spiral trail of magic

i would float on my back
and perhaps, understand
the blend and finish
of my new colour

from there, up high
I could spin miracles
to the perfect twirl
and paint you happy

but i flounder and flail
in a hopeless kick
and broken stroke
while the mess rains heavy
as bent rusty nails

how they tried,
those that loved me
to soothe and gentle
in demonstrated ease

just a little kick, they smile
-easy strokes,
be one with the moment
you swim in

and I try
God help me, I do

but I sink as before
as the colours explode into shrapnel
obliterating the cascade
I dreamed of
when my youth
knew imagined success
through perfect

Monday, October 25, 2010

Silent Observer

was the time
when rivers knew my stones
from troubled fingers,
the wiggle of my bait
from greedy want, and
the trespass
of my feet, all five-buckle boots
trample and clang

and too, the woods of September
knew my stick
in crooked drag
and daring poke

I swung at the clouds
challenged the storms
sang to the moon, and
danced to ideas
stolen from generations
of long forgotten fools

but not now
-not today

today I ghost,
a watcher, mere
silent observer

this I do, with tremble and quake
seeking a new brand of comfort

the stones I threw
and side-winder skipped
chased herons from the quiet, and
birds became mimes
to my terminator steps

and choir to the moon
draws only the applause of sad dust
while the clouds I swing at
water another man's tulips

but now, maybe,
if tenderly I step, and
carefully I observe while
reaching into my ribs
to stretch my soul wide
to the quiet placement
of motion without man,
then perhaps,
a new comfort will find room,
more five and dime
than taco laced strip malls

so hush, says the gentle river
gliding the day
says the quiet woods
laying me upon it's
canvas of paupers carpet

let us paint you
in the light of concede
to a way you need know
to truly know us

let us drift you, say they, to
a new language
that rush can never learn
from passing clouds

we will be your gait
as we blend your thoughts
into dreams you can't see
and songs you can't hear
in the silence of your noise

I know,
this silent passage
will not grant me
my hearts desire
nor make my moon fuller

it will not be alchemist
to my stew of mistakes
nor keep me
from tomorrow's fresh madness

I simply choose to accept
the peace it offers today
if only I shadow it
a silent observer

I surrender the sword
without ceremony
or honour
to be silent observer,
the careful watcher, one
naked in spirit, needing
the ancient wisdom
quiet might bring


Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Whsht whsht whsht

The sun kaleidoscopes the maple
into orgasmic explosion
sending life upon death
through the vacant street

in 1968, his son met jimi hendrix
in Da Nang, but
only the music returned
giving voice
to a folded flag

wushhh wuushh wushhh

lost a sister in '73 in the
damnedest wreck clay county
never did see, and

A maple leaf falls
in twist and float
but settles short of
the potter's field
where it's too sad
for red to die

Wushhh wushhh wushhh
sweeps the broom
as Tom's mail truck
rounds the corner
by the stillest of motion

whsht whsht whsht

Mary passed in '87 from the cancer
-brother earl, two years later
when his heart paused
a moment too long
over the snow shovel

cars pass, some wave
some stare
a few understand
and most ignore
in kindness

but it matters not to him

he who
at first light sidles down
the porch steps
clutching his purpose,
the only one he can keep alive

and the leaves fall
and the wind laughs
and the town cries
for greater recognition, but

time means nothing here
having been swallowed whole
by the seasons of his passing
and the cold hand of loneliness

so all day long he sweeps
that same God damned spot
of clean dirt
like an upside down grave
he can't gain entrance to

and the children pass
to school
and back
quiet feared and wild-eyed

while Marge Thompson
sips her coffee while
leaning to her kitchen window
to when the maple was a sapling
and hope sang harmony
over green grass seeding love

whsht whsht whsht

Monday, October 18, 2010


Oh sky of grey broken tender
Do you feel my beg?
Feast upon my longing?

Old friend, season of my song
Have we not earned each other?

Roofs are for raindrops and
Dream weaver sleep while
Fires tend the fearful's
Broken heart

But you and I, old friend
Kindle a different passage
Where loneliness makes trump
And comfort settles within

So here i am
And there you are
One losing purpose
Without the other

So hush the pines
Who baby bird-like
cry for their supper

Drift the frozen lake
That cracks in flex
Prepared for cover

The owls wait for
Your moonlight glow
And still, telling shadows

We all wait, old friend
As you ponder your mood

I am here, in the field of wait
Alone and jacketed
Longing for the cleanse
Only you, old friend,
Can offer

Hear my longing
As i walk the alone trail
I turn my eyes to you
Throw my arms wide
To your roll and dark billow
And bend the knee
In pleading obeisance

Snow, old friend


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Making Do

The man at the corner
sells stolen roses
a dog may have pissed on

I bought three for you

remember the Chinese place,
where the cook smoked
to keep the flies miserable?
you kissed me first there

I sang you a song
from the balcony
of super eight
and wrote you a sonnet
when the ball game was cancelled

your mother blushes
when I kiss her hand
with twinkle and smile
while your father beams
to my adventures and travels
from his lazy recliner,
seeming quite weary of his fat ass

all in all, I've loved you well
wouldn't you say?

but if i could
love another
whose breasts stood taller and mightier
whose lips fountained red in full bloom
whose hair sailed the milky way
in fragrant mist

and if I could
win the Pulitzer
sit upon senator's thrones
win the royal cup or
save my soul
from the heart of hell
by simply throwing your mother in
my place

the man on the corner
would be one dollar poorer
and the Chinese fly factory
a table richer
while your father's fat ass
mourned, for his supper


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Civil Wars

Up high on the ridge, i watched
As two hawks battled
For supremacy

Just down the line,
The crows gathered to witness
Wearing the petticoats
Of first Manassas

Down here, in the cheap seats,
Twenty hummingbirds
warred over nectar for fifty
While the ants thieved
And the cat watched

A car grinds down
The drive way, flags waving.
It's Mr. brown bearing gifts as he tells me the evils
Of casting my vote for Mrs. Green

This all i ponder
From a seat of ease
As I have no one
To overthrow

I look to the horses as
Surely a worthy foe
But hay and flies
Seem a poor booty

I look into the window
To more cats
Occupied in a fight
Not worthy of my join

My wife comes out
But that battle
Was Korea'd long ago
And we honour the DMZ

The dog barks
At a plastic bag
Ghosted in the autumn breeze

"shut up stupid!"

The dog retreats
Victory is mine


Friday, October 8, 2010


I don't care for restaurants
They're all shoney
And crackerbarrel

Buffets and chemical cones Check Spelling

The waitresses have clean
Green skirts, matching aprons
And name tags

Tightwad teachers meet here
To tip poorly
And compliment each other
For doing their job

All the pie crusts are stamped
Sysco, and a regional dick
Strikes fear, twice a month

Some restaurants are lovely
And the pies from Deflor's bakery.
Teachers don't go here
But neither do i
As i always feel like I entered
A church
with too much God
And not enough sin

But a cafe, yes,
Where the cook
Bellers and belly laughs
At the
Clumsy girl
Who couldn't get into Shoney's
Cuz of that damn tattoo

She's wearin jeans
As full of holes as
Her manners

She ain't going to State
In the fall
Like the girls at crackerbarrel and
Her apron is filthy
And her hair
Is in your chili

There's a counter
With some stools
Where the plumber and
Electrician perch
Cuz the dice are
Just below the counter

You have to bang the
Salt shaker, and in the corner
Is a juke box that never heard
Of eminem

Teachers won't come here
Cuz they failed
The cook and waitress

And there's worse things
Than hair in your chili

But here, you can laugh out loud
And tip because you want to
Cuz she's your friend
And you take care of your friends

Here, dreams are small
But dreams just
The same
The til stays open to round -offs
And Sadie bakes the pies fresh
Every night

Monday, October 4, 2010


I lie on my bed and look up.
I am sucked upward at the speed of silent scream high above the clouds.
Then, and with not the pause a roller coaster offers to catch one's breath, I am thrown down hard upon a river of concrete.
Thwack! No bounce.
I feel myself dragged, helpless as a hummingbird in a hurricane named Earl.

Over fields of stone, through a field of trees, into a deep ocean where I, the dredge, write new history of disregarded lessons.
This I imagine, as I lie upon my bed of comfort and thought.

For God's sake why?
The readers screams
For God's sake,
The thinker replies.

You see, religion teaches us this- commandment and penalty.
The commandments hang like another's gum from my shoes, having long ago lost its flavor.
That leaves penalty.
Five for fighting
Ten for fucking
A thousand, for just being me.

But another has swung from your rope
Haven't you heard?
Yes, but i don't trust this convenient license to kill.

The children cry
The old man hungers for the loneliness of his youth
And the gun claims God as its trigger

If one has died for the sins of all
why do the sins multiply in the closet of our knowing?
Those that say they don't, lie
And those admitting they do
Are condemned by the liar's parchment.
A conundrum of perfect reply

If choose i could,
One and done would be the smart play
But i know better
And the gum hangs heavy from my shoes
And i lie upon my bed



Sunday, October 3, 2010


I'm always amazed to find that anyone would read me. I wouldn't. But, and cuz it's free, not cuz I'm homeland security, I have tracker on my blog.
I almost never check it, maybe every couple months, just to see if anyone's still there, but today I had a moment and so glanced. Yes, unbelievably, a few still stop by. But what struck me today was Franklin, Ky. Huh?
dang, that's awful close to where I live! hmmmm Franklin, nice to meet you! Drop me an email and let me know how ever you came to find me. The other few of you, thank you so much for finding some value in my posts, at least enough so that you stop by from time to time.
Franklin, My email is posted on Manx; hope to hear from you.
Love you all,