Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summer in The South

What a good thing is a porch, too many cigars, and conversation. In the near perfect southern heat you can forget, briefly, that the money is running out, that some shadow of action is ultimately required, that cruel requests have been extended, that your Boy will soon be gone for a week and the silence will deafen, that options are less than scarce, that health cannot be taken for granted, that your dear old cat is dying...

You can focus on the simple and soothing. Brutal beautiful football; beautiful, affirming fall; the routine of your Boy's school days and nights. Things like that. But mostly, the blue grey nightfall and its embrace. You wonder if, besides your son, nightfall may be the only thing you've ever loved.

And you think on it and shrug. And you hold a wooden match to another cigar. Send a cloud of blue smoke into the thick night of it.

And you are content.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Neighborhood, Tuesday Afternoon

The kids they play war today. All serious smiles and missions to complete. They have front and back porch bunkers; Bradford Pear and Maple tree bases. Well-armed, Emerson and Sam are an elite force tasked with taking out the more experienced older neighborhood kids. They are merciless beyond what they show to one another. What they lack in experience, they make up for in bravado and risk-taking. They do not so much protect and serve as destroy and eliminate.

It is a lengthy and succesfful mission ending with sweaty, dirt-streaked faces. Their tired grins return to camp seeking juice packs and are rife with tales of heroism.

The boys live to battle another day.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Sometimes, especially if I am fucked up, the wisps of my cigar smoke turn into claws and reach for my face. I see them peripherally and jump like a madman at the nothing of it all. Sometimes I feel foolish but mostly I don't feel at all and just draw once again on my good cigar and then settle, comfortable, back into my familiar gloom.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

From The Porch

A light rain falls. From the porch it is calm friendship dancing on sunburnt grass and aching asphalt beyond. Night lightning plays slow across the black sky. Thunder bellows reassuring.

My sullen boy sits inside pouting over the drudgeries of being eight. He will awaken happy and ready for day.

For now, I bask in calm friendship falling from blackness lit now and again by night lightning.

It is all around me. And comforting.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Void

Half-filled with drink and a burning stomach you are. Your boy lies awake in the guest bed you share waiting on you even though it is 1:30 a.m. He is stubborn as a fucking rock; and you are impatient as an old lady waiting in line. And that's a rough mix, boy. You sit over drink in the uncooled house with your too big unemployed belly and too long stringy hair wondering what to do. Too tired to go to bed you are. You sit in the hum of the refrigerator and the fluorescent bulb that hangs over the sink in your momma's kitchen. Your mind like a moth flitting here and then there. Wondering maybe will you hear more gunfire like you did last night. Your boy asking and you telling him, "9mm best I can tell." And all his wide-eyed questions, "...but who, why, where, how" and "who again?"

All you can say is, "Boy! It's Augusta. If you are here you will hear gunshots!" "Goddamn!" you add. And then further, "Best to be in here and hear them than out there in it."

"That makes sense, Daddy" he says. "I can see that."

And a water bug the size of a Wing Tip shoe clomps around the kitchen. His big old Delta wings and post apocalyptic arrogance. Your momma would be appalled. "Martha Stewart," you would tell her, "couldn't keep those nasty motherfuckers out. Why you think she don't live in Georgia?" That water bug scoots away, dodges what would be your momma's flailing. You watch all this. What else would you do? You take off your hat and run your hand through thinning hair--'cause you mostly don't ever know what to do with your hands. You fit your cap back. Your right hand traces at the frost of your drink glass. Your left hand wanders like an indigent here and there. You wonder should you go take a pill but it's late you know. That refrigerator hum, it's like it lives in your head after awhile. It's constant like the ringing in your ears from either too much or not enough caffeine. (You've never not known that ringing). Your momma's orchid to your right, lists forward, but is staked true and safe from fall.

The burning deep in your gut nearly finishing you. Boring a cavern through to your back. You look at the white liquor drink you have in place of your trusted bourbon. Thinking to give that belly sunspot a break tonight. But burn is burn.

Appliance hum, you think, is no company for man. Not even better than none.

You hit that drink and shoulder the burn. In the mid-brain you hear the multiple footfalls of the water bug guest searching the perfect crevice. You rise. Through the side door you exit, sure of foot. You pause beneath the triggered motion light and draw a palm through your hair and replace your cap. With purpose you lumber into the dark Georgia night, in the general direction of gunfire that once in awhile cracks open the void.

You need to see for yourself.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Gloam

Evening sun, fire and sage, fades like a tired child beyond those trees, that distant hill. An applause of cicadas and a full heart rises to greet the gloam as it spills toward you on a slender breeze. You are happy and sated as a lover might be. Blue cigar smoke whispers above your clear head. Street lamps pause with effort that you might sit still a moment more.

...just one moment more.