Breaking Down the Wall: Ten for Yesterday

September 6, 2016

The music never stops outside and inside my head. Sometimes the melody pounds in time with a pumping, thumping drum beat of a heart. Sometimes the violins screech and thrust me deep in a Psycho movie scene, stabbed over and over again with high pitched wails and screams, decibels higher than eardrum capacity.

But it’s just the neighbor toddlers yowling and the dog yapping. And that spinal column creep of approaching slippered steps of an interruption about to happen. My neck tenses awaiting the final knuckle knock knock, a rapid five or six in a row.

And all the while, the pings and bings of phones, IPads and computers tick away at flesh, flying skin chips scattered everywhere. My attention shattered in shard millenia. That’s what it’s like to write at home. Life music blasting me and my mind all day.

But my mind has steeled itself impenetrable against so much more than noise before this. My constitution has weathered barn storms and hurricanes far greater, like three, grueling, sleepless days of exams preceded by years and years of mind-numbing tedious study. And then untold hours, thousands upon thousands, invested in a slow-bleeding, fast burning career life-suckingly anchored, financially and personally, that eventually landed me inside the court house walls.

Dismantling a person brick by brick, thorn by thorn, thought by thought, nerve by nerve, takes a long time. I got away with a quick turn, only 56 years building and breaking. Some take a life time. And it’s not over for me—or anyone. We turn like the worms we are.

No lives matter, not in the sense that we think they do. They merely breathe and do and be—just like everything else. The rock and me, we stream steady, hold our ground and pass unnoticed by most. Human fate, being just another assembly of matter and particles. I don’t understand why it feels so different to be human than to be a rock.

Chatter in the Wind


Like fake windup teeth, they chatter on like a cheap gag

hackers, spammers and hangers on, all sapping space

saved for clarity; no clue, they’re all ego, needy strokes,

recognition, checking in, checking on and confirmation

that still, yes, I do exist; your real is genuine connection,

beat loneliness and worthlessness, valueless monied air.

Make room, clear the questions like “What’s for dinner?”

and “Will this be on the test? and “Why?” ask 3 year olds 

only to make conversation, believing sounds substantive:

tone of voice, letters on leaves, form-words, voices heard,

prayers moaned, pledges recited, dreams told, signs read,

memes scrolled, billboard philosophy, sext-up proposals, 

cyber poke, lol jokes, ping backs, whistle blows, doorknock, 

chicken scratch, empty glances on empty screens beckoned

by meaningless noises and jibberish symbols to break down,

take chances, reach in and virtually blow long-wound spew.   

And the whistles moaning the cracked window seals sound

chatter in storm-whisking trees felled by dull, dry tongues.




Twirling silence spun in whirring generators

refrigeration unit hums and frozen hours,

pumps and siphons, pins and drums all agog

thrumming fullness into empty space. 

The music paused, would-be customers pass,

glancing, penetrating a vitrine store front,

peering into promise of some other time.

I witness the throng of pulsing gravity, 

cocooned in chewy, thick combinatory air–

warmed, tossed, settled, clinging to steel.

A noisy silence bathes my skin, electric

charged, solitary, trapped and buzz coated.

Time is irreverant, caring little for the sacred–

breath, love, chance, and tones inaudibly clear.