The 7th Floor

Nigel worked in the appliances store on Main. The store, Empardo Appliances, was an institution in Avalon. It was where everyone went to buy appliances, or at least, everyone who didn’t realise they could get a better deal elsewhere.

After work it was only a short drive (three blocks) across ice-slick roads, past O’Halloran’s pub where some of his workmates (Joe and David) would be spending half their pay checks on beer, until he pulled up somewhere in the vicinity of the ailing apartment building where he lived and hoped that he wouldn’t have to walk too far.

Nigel had debts. These came to him in three separate envelopes each month. He was a diligent man and so he paid these debts before everything else, which left him exactly enough money to rent his apartment and feed himself, as well as putting a little something away for a rainy day; though plenty of rainy days had come and gone without Nigel touching his little nest egg. Occasionally, he’d treat himself to a gourmet sausage.

Nigel wore a musty jacket and musty pants and these were qualities that seemed to have absorbed into the very being of the suit itself, because it remained musty no matter how many times he had the suit dry-cleaned. The dry cleaners down on Promenade wouldn’t even clean his suit any more. They said if he bought a new suit that they’d be more than happy to help him. But Nigel didn’t want to buy a new suit; he thought this suit was just fine (although it did smell a little musty).

So it was that on this wintry night he pulled into a park on the side of the road not too far from his usual spot and shut off the engine. He opened the door and stepped onto the sidewalk and right at that moment a car careened past: horn blaring, tires screaming as they struggled to maintain their grip on the icy road. For a moment Nigel thought he was witnessing his death, but then the car was red taillights fading into the distance and there was only the sound of the wind and his own panting breath.

Continue reading “The 7th Floor”

There is Beauty

there is beauty
in a fleeting beam
of sunlight
as it wanes
and night sounds fill the twilight
wind whispers through the glades
shadows lengthen
wearily
as they to lay down to rest

Fuck I’m So Sad

Fuck I’m so sad

Tiny flame dwindling

Like a frown at the edge of space-time

On the ledge of space-time

Where I can see the whole universe

Arranged in columns of stars

And light sparks between clouds

Of nebulous gas

Giving rise to creation

Creating this feeling

Of divine isolation

In the cold and the dark

Where the orbs spin

And distant flames dwindle

And twinkle

As though it’s the same thing

The sane thing

To be distracted by light

Like moths swarming a bulb

Seeking warmth / Seeking death

In the sizzling caress

Of the flame and the glass

Like a glass window pane

The pain is ingrained in me

It goes on and on

Like some old song

Cobbled together

From all I’ve done wrong

And from old nursery rhymes

Rhyming slang / Guitar twang

The phone rang

In my memories like a harpy

Yet I cannot sink

Cannot think

In this darkness

In

This

Abyss

Unmoving

A bubble escapes from my lips

As I gasp

What is this?

My body suspended

In a body of water

Suspended in space

My heart’s starting to race

And my thoughts can’t keep pace

With the weight of disgrace

And my shoes are unlaced

What I’m trying to say is

I’m trying to stay

Grounded

On the earth

And its tectonic plates

Rocky pinnacle untouched

And ever unseen

So remains like a dream

Long forgotten

Long turned rotten

In the back of my mind

Like a miner

Pickaxe striking at

My amygdala

Wounded snake

Driven mad

Rising up now and biting

Not because I am angry

But because I am frightened

Of men and their nets

And the battles they’re fighting

Lightning upon the plains

Scorches whole fields with blame

I’m so lame

I’m so lame

And fuck I’m so scared

Wish I’d been prepared

For this