By: Dan A. Cardoza
We cross the Sierras at dawn; first Reno, then
further East, just as the sun cuts open the
belly of the sky––it bleeds rouge, right down to the highway, now gathering its shinny black ribbon
before us. With each mile traveled, our distance grows, roads narrow, then brittle. Broken yellow
highway stripes begin stitching themselves to the glass in the rear view mirror, as the pavement grows
anemic, then exhausted. We lose our way at dusk.
The earth turns, planets align, the clock of humankind ticks. We are born into this house
at the exact hour eternity intended, & are given stones, four to be precise, all blue. Along the
way, we share our stones, love, lust, life & death.
The four seasons weave our tapestry, threads of
the same hue, first Blair Green, then Oxblood Red, Pumpkin Sienna & finally Pitch Black. And
then one day it happens. The wind laces through our open window, not finding our song,
stills the curtains, our melody complete. The planets align once again, we transcend, as
eternity insists with our blue stones, all new.
He sat atop the billboard thirty feet off the ground, like an overall wearing Buddha, on the scaffold platform, thumbing the large handle, of his gun-metal lunchbox, eating his deviled egg sandwich.
Starving, his thoughts not in the least occupied with the billboard advertisement. “LAX: Your one stop for the most non-stops, fly American.”
Mouth agape, a relentless desert wind, seems to howl his name,
as windy sand, plows sculptured furrows in adjacent hills, now too hot for the legs of the centipede or belly ribs of the Usain Bolt of rattlesnakes.
Found him hanging, from his safety rope, still gripping his lunch pail, not unlike a human plum bob, spinning his hot cocoon, slowly toward his version of eternity.
Our departure sounds like a base drum hit once hard, it never stops.
We were here, what we left behind shall pour itself into the sand, voices, reflections of what we saw, all alibis kept from us in departure, kept from us sterling lies.
Not Your Father’s Halloween, And The Ghost Of Charlie Manson
October was the designated eight month of the Roman Calendar, Octobermensis, evolving into the English word October in 1050 AD. And October was added as the eighth month, in particular, so the Romans had a vault to safely keep the balance of time. Let’s face it, this pissed someone or something off.
Trick or treat bees, vampires, pirates and a princess of course. An orange smiling Buddha squats on one of the bare pitchfork branches in my hickory tree, like a Chinese Cheshire Wish Lantern, full of Zen. On my porch squint and you will see an apricot stained skull with invisible eyes, nose & mouth. All taken by a farmer’s knife & dumped in a rusty bucket like sheep’s eyes. It’s the witches’ season. A lit kerosene wick, with a feathered tongue of fire, licks at the darkness from its hallowed cranium as the hot saffron crackles from within. This night Halloween fills my house, with borscht of bats & owls so pasty & dank, it sticks to the roof of my mouth; forbidden fruit. Witchy & wickedly perfumed as Charlie Manson would have cackled.
This is not your father’s Halloween, with its black Rubik’s Cube even Braille fingers cannot decide. In this instant, a lifeline of jagged obsidian stars, flint from the palm of the sky, frozen & brittle, crashing in heaps in the dirt. And just when the woods fill to the brim with nocturnal creatures of hoof, claw & wings, barely muzzled, November stands platinum & sterile, left waiting for dawn to clean up this damn mess.