I was back home. Nearly a week went by before I saw Daniel, my father. He never wrote, never got on the phone when my mother and I spoke; when Xmas came, he didn’t even sign his own name on the card.
I walked up and knocked on the door. I hadn’t been there in almost a year. From outside, it looked abandoned. We lived at the top of a dead end hill. The grass was high, the bricks in the driveway were crooked and caved in. Weeds everywhere. Rotten crabapples lined the end of the road. This was my house.
My mother answered the door. “Fredrick, how are you?”
“Not too bad.”
She hugged me. I felt my clothes, several sizes too large now, fold and wrap around me.
“Daniel’s taking a crap, I think. Give ‘em a minute.”
“HEY DANIEL,” she shouted. “FREDRICK’S HERE.”
“Malight,” I heard him say, muffled through the bathroom door.
I waited. The living room had changed. It looked clean. Daniel had allowed himself to be laid off just before I went away; he’d probably learned how to tidy things up. With nothing else to do, alone in a dirty place, OCD can come on real strong. I knew how that was.
“We have pictures from our LA trip,” my mother said, “you wanna see?”
“You know, I really wish you could have went,” she paused. “I mean, we both did.”
“That’s fine, really. How did you win the trip, again?”
“Daniel called in to DVE and he won two tickets to Ozzfest. He’s not really into that kind of stuff, but y’know, he does love Ozzy. So after he won that, they told him that each of the winners of the Ozzfest tickets—because they did a drawing every day that week—they’d have a chance at winning a trip to see Ozzy at the Hard Rock in LA. It was a one-in-five shot, I guess. Daniel didn’t go the station to pick up his tickets for a while, and when he finally did, they told him he won the trip, too.”
My mother handed me the pictures. I looked them over. Fun.
“Yeah he always wins that stuff,” she continued with a laugh. “When he still worked, he’d just turn on the radio and call; they only let you win once a month, so sometimes he’d just call to see if he could win, then he’d hang up.”
“That’s a lot of effort,” I said.
My mother’s eyes shifted. She saw what I was getting at. “Well, everyone handles things differently.”
“Real fucking differently.”
I heard a flush. The door opened and I saw Daniel come out, wiping his hands on his jeans.
We scanned each other a while. He was fatter and I was thinner. He’d gotten a little older and I’d gotten much. Time was a sonofabitch.
He said, “Hey.”
“You walk here?”
“How’s your girl?”
“Find a job?”
What a fucking question, I thought. “No,” I said. “How about you?”
After a moment he said, “No. I worked long enough. Good time to take a break.”
“She show you the pictures?”
“Yes she did.”
“We had a good time. It was funny because it only lasted a day. We flew to LA, saw Ozzy—actually I don’t remember too much of the show; I got drunk and ended up fighting some fat fucker—and after that we came back. I’d see people, they’d say, ‘How was your weekend?’ and I’d be like, ‘Good, I flew to LA and saw Ozzy Osbourne.’ They’d tell me I was full of it and I’d just laugh. It was nice. It’s nice to get away from this fucking shitty world sometimes.”
I said, “Not all the time.”
“Look, I couldn’t do it,” he said. “I couldn’t see you like that. I just fucking couldn’t, okay? I wanted to, and a few times I told your mum to wait for me to meet her and we’d both visit you…but I never did. I couldn’t.”
I felt my eyes water; all that time I’d spent becoming hard and dead vanished briefly. I blinked fast. Daniel reached in and held me. He never quite said he was sorry, but it was more than I’d expected. He let go.
“Alright, I’m going to Braddock to drop off some cans. I don’t have any money.”
He walked out the door, leaving it open behind him.
When I get new followers, usually I like to check out their blog - if anything, just to figure out what it is that we have in common that made them hit the ‘follow’ button.
So I got a few new followers in the last couple of days, and I go and check out ericboydblog. I’d never heard of Eric Boyd before now, but i’ve been scrolling through his blog for the better part of an hour now and I am in love with his six word poems and his prose and just…aahhh!
I’m on the verge of hyperventilating because I can’t figure out why he’s following me…he’s so amazing.
And to Eric - hello you c:
UntitledKenji Khozoei, reading by Eric Boyd
I woke up to my mother telling me there was another terrorist attack
and I said “where”
like it made a difference
then fell back asleep.
(Just let me keep dreaming,
just let me keep dreaming,
just let me keep dreaming.)
An eight year old boy has dreams, too;
he might dream of fields and footballs
or Batman and Robin
or dancing on stages
and making his mother proud.
(Just let him keep dreaming,
just let him keep dreaming,
just let him keep dreaming.)
This isn’t even a poem,
there is just a lump in my throat
and I’ve swallowed enough tumors
to forget my sickness,
steel shells of irony
like of course there was another terrorist attack,
(Maybe we’re all still dreaming,
maybe we’re all still dreaming,
maybe we’re all still dreaming.)
Images of open skulls
and pavements stained with blood
like final words graffitied upon
the walls of our conscience,
curved spines weighed beneath
grey skies soaked in tears
but even clouds of smoke
have their silver lining,
the stories of heroes
and of love and of courage
buried under the rubble
of a civilisation that is accustomed to
There is more good than evil in this world.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that
and sometimes it’s just so painful to be reminded.
(Maybe I’ll always dream,
maybe he’ll always dream,
maybe we’ll always dream.)
So this poem that I wrote got read out on RadioTWC by Erid Boyd, which is super exciting and also quite humbling. Hearing someone else’s voice read and interpret your own writing is really cool and it also makes me want to start doing my own poetry readings.
Anyway, big thanks to Eric for doing this!
SOME KIND OF THIEVERY (Wild Irish 3)
Sister Margret slept three hours before returning for the morning shift, which she had specifically requested despite having worked the previous night’s shift. There is no rest for the wicked, nor any for the nurses who mend them. There was a homeless gentleman the Sister was interested in. He had come into the infirmary with a lot of cuts and bruises, likely over some kind of thievery. He muttered the name of a cheap wine over and over—likely the name of whatever he stole or had stolen—but said little else. Sister Margret had found that many of the homeless people who came through the hospital lived with blinders on, attempting to go by, quite strictly, from day to bloody day. It lessens the pain of life to think only of the things right in front of you. Sister Margret understood this.
“Maggie, did you see?” Sister Helen asked as Margret came into the hospital through the staff parking lot.
“What should I have seen, Sister?”
“That gentleman that came in yesterday—the homeless man—he and another gentleman got into a fight on floor three last night. The other man was attacking the homeless fellow; he jumped through a window and the attacker is in custody now.”
“Oh my,” Sister Margret said. Her face became hard. She and Sister Helen walked down the hall, toward the employee break room. Inside, the staff coffee pot was made up, grounds and water waiting, but the pot had not been turned on. “Why can’t anything ever just work?!” Margret erupted. She began to weep.
Towards the end of her shift, Sister Margret took the elevator to floor three. She had been avoiding it most of the morning, instead trying to greet people in the waiting rooms and speak with families. She spoke with many new mothers, trying to keep her day as positive as possible. For whatever odd reason, the homeless man she had seen the day before moved her. She could remember his bitterness, his anger at the world, fiery within his dark eyes. This was a man that, Lord please forgive such language, had been fucked by life. It was impossible to think otherwise. In a good world, rich with bounty, how could we not provide for such men? How could souls burn with questions and choose to seek answers in glass bottles instead of holy text? Sometimes, Margret thought very quietly to herself, so quiet even within her own mind, that she hoped God could not hear her thoughts: maybe the Devil made the world and we are just his amusements.
The elevator stopped. Sister Margret got off and stepped toward the In-Need ward, for those unable to pay for their care. Opening the door, Sister Margret immediately felt a cold surround her; the broken window was in the far corner of the room. A trail of blood droplets led to the window, and then a spray of it surrounded the shattered glass. Margret shivered.
Plastic, secured around the broken window with painters tape, billowed inward from the wind outside. The contractors hired by the County never did a good job. They didn’t care to. One of them was still in the room, lazily measuring the window while eating a sandwich from the hospital’s cafeteria. The handful of patients still in the ward—all older men—were not allowed to move to a different ward. Instead they had each been given one extra blanket. Margret decided that coming up to see the ward had been a very bad idea. She left.
The County contractor finished his sandwich and wiped off his fingers on the blanket of the bed nearest him. The County sent him to do a patch job and he was done. He was just soaking up extra time on the clock.
“Watch it, kiddo.”
“Huh?” the contractor grunted. The man whose blanket he’d wiped off on was looked at him, pissed.
“I said, ‘Watch it,’ you fat jerkoff.”
“If I wasn’t so sure your broke, sorry asshole was dripping with AIDS, I’d put you away.”
“Alright tough guy, whatever you say.”
The man turned on his side and tried to sleep. The contractor puffed out his chest a little bit, a small victory. He looked out, through the clear plastic over the window, toward his car. He was just about ready to take off for the day. Then he saw two guys smashing in his driver’s side.
“Motherfucks, my car!” he said, running toward the elevator. He hit the DOWN button and waited.
“What’s wrong, tough guy? You gettin’ a ticket? Repo’d? Or is some other broke, sorry faggot about to take it for a ride?”
The contractor couldn’t do anything. He waited for the elevator. The man in the bed began to laugh. The contractor turned red in the face. All of the men in the ward began to laugh, then.
Take back the feature
Hmm, that wasn’t an easy thing to do but here goes:
It really offers an interesting and new perspective on the matter.
2.Favorite spoken word:
Listen to it and you’ll know why it’s in this list.
loqui I can’t give you a title
all my favorites from him have been featured, I’m sorry dudes!
4.Umm, and here are two by me (I can’t narrow it down any further)
THE BROWN HAT Set List (2/25/13)
- Hoe Down- Aaron Copland
- Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door- Bob Dylan
- Fucking Around in Double Drop D- Eric Boyd
- Complaints of the Skeleton to Time- Allen Ginsberg
- Break 1
- Tekno Love Song- CocoRosie
- American Sarcasm (a reading)- Eric Boyd
- Until the Water Goes Down- Beasts of the Southern Wild OST
- Disaster- the Besnard Lakes
- God Only Knows- the Beach Boys
- Break 2
- Swing 41- Django Reinhardt
- the Promise of Living- Aaron Copland
- Break 3
- Star Eyes (I Can’t Catch It)- Dangermouse & Sparklehorse [feat. David Lynch]
- Worried Shoes (Live, 2009)- Daniel Johnston
- Main Title from Frankenstein (1931) OST- Bernhard Kaun
- Break 4
- Nightmare- Artie Shaw
- Bach- Mario Maccaferri
- Nighty Night- Yvonne King & Alvino Rey
This is for all of my new followers, and for the people who need things to read or want a reminder of what all they can find.
I have updated how I do things now, so I will include that information where applicable.
Lifescouts Badges or track untappedinkwell does lifescouts
The Cars Series or track ‘cars’ or ‘chasing cars’
A Nameless Power or track A Nameless Power
Please feel free to browse around these pages the next time you are bored or need something to read. If you would like to be added to the list of urls that I tag for a specific story, please let me know or consider tracking that story’s tag.
I hope you’re having a good day! Welcome, and Don’t Forget to Be Awesome!