Saying Good-bye: Ten for Today

A deep melancholy weaves itself inside a house leaking in 

the first cool night of October. 

It shadows the shades with daylight endings 

with no thought to warmer, longer days. 

It’s a passing of sorts, the dying season. 

The year’s swan song in golden ochre and chestnut hurrahs.

 
Only this first cold day, a day where I search for socks 

in a squeaky disused drawer overflowing unmatched orphans, 

endings haunt the costumed furniture. 

Almost Halloween, though none know it’s Halloween inside. 

And only I know my mismatched socks stretch 

hodge-podge high up my booted shins.

 
These and many others are fall’s secrets, 

hidden under leaf piles and broken relationships. 

I’m sorry to see some go. I’m sorry. 

Only spring light may reveal a return on investing 

in you all these years, but only if you count it out– 

the season of us has dried up and gone. 

Fall of Us


That familiar hum inside and out. 

The thrumming TV static-snow blustering my brain 

like when I slid down a steep mountain backward on my ass, 

the board strapped to my boots kicking up torrents of snow 

coating my eyes and nose as I plummeted blindly 

facing only where I came from. 

That happened then for this very day–teleported.

Today’s that cold-faced day.

 

The snap-to-it chill smacks mightily, 

your face-skin taut with expectation, 

braced to ward off the front, 

the sting of knowing you could trip, 

lose your step and your knees buckle, 

your bones splinter and your ankle crack. 

Something tragically foretold unbeknownst to you, 

the usual chaos lurking out there along your life’s line. 

To feel that approaching crisis is to live.

 

But only on days like these, 

wedged between enough and not enough 

and itch and scratched. 

Our clothes are fresh but our visions stale, our breath coffee rotten. 

These days smell like winter kill. 

But it’s only the dying fall when crockpot lamb-stew and mulch 

pepper muddy moods built for cutting, 

crying into dust and hanging amulets.

 

Her neck exposes naked-ruddy latticed vines, 

burnt and creased in spider legs enfolded, 

smothered and feathered like aortic-bony leaves, 

en-sleeving jugular flush–

as if the world pumped incessantly 

in syncopated gurgles, 

muffled to the dull roaring hum.   

 

Decay Doldroms for the Season: Ten for Today


September 19, 2016

I haven’t written in a while, not here on the blog anyhow. Not for ten minutes or any minutes. My time has been taken up with ghost blogging and raising some cash. Writing under deadline drains me. That and mid-night walks with the puppy. Not sure how I’m still standing and working this late hour.

Jump starting the ten minute write is just what I need to get my groove back. I fear the return of the malaise, the block—the doldrums. Don’t want to go back there where I could not write a word as my mind swore there were no more to write. The mind trap viciously snaps shut. Sometimes it feels as if there is nothing to be done about it.

Another September, approaching fall, which has always been my favorite season, full of the color of dying, a ravaging display of decay and splendorous leaf parades (not that we get that much here in Southern California) and summer heat relief. There will be an Indian summer here in a bit—if the weather isn’t totally deranged as it has been (no such thing as global warming). But then the crisp Halloween night will remind me that it’s fall, time to bring the crockpot down from its box atop the refrigerator.

I like cold weather foods—roasted root vegetables and butternut squash soups and pumpkin everything (not latte, please)—and I like cold weather wear: big bulky sweaters, leather boots and wool beanies. No, there’s no snow here, but we can look like we are expecting it at any moment. Pullover sweaters are the reason for the season.

The year winds down. The count down to my most unfavorite time of the year, holidays and forced cheer, overspending and time pressures. This year I may find myself alone for the holidays with my family going overseas, but I think I might welcome that more than dread it. Perhaps not on Christmas Eve, but that’s never been my tradition, except for my kids’ sake, and so I’m always slightly estranged from the spirit and light of it.

I might actually get time off without the hassles of shopping—my least favorite thing to do—and agonizing over selecting, wrapping and presenting gifts. I’m not a Scrooge. Just over it after too many seasons. Ah, who am I kidding? I am Scroogie.