Tuesday, May 29, 2012

once again without feeling

I entered in and flopped on the comfy-fat beanbag so I didn’t collapse on the floor. Something was new. My body’s long-dormant furnace was boiling again for the first time in a while.
            Perhaps I should start at the beginning. No Shame Theater had become the crux of my Friday evenings. There are three rules- and only three, as I often remind myself. Your submitted piece- skit, musical act, poem, episode, or blob of any combination- won’t last longer than 5 minutes. Your piece will be original. And your piece should not damage anything- physically, as the leaders often remind us.
            Everyone was laughing and hollering and nearly falling out of their seats, as normal. The heartfelt songs and serious statements left an impact on us, but in no way would juxtapose, say, a skit with a wall of dildos immediately following. A poem or two was read. My friend’s skit crossed everybody’s expectations, and the final skit had two board members faithfully throwing around the same old shtick of a fake feud. That was how it looked until one said to the other (referring to ‘continuing the feud), “What would your dead grandpa think?”
            I paraphrased there, but you get the idea. Problem was, the context of the skit they were preforming- the man finding a ‘tape’ of the other sleep-revealing embarrassing facts- was obviously suited for comedy. This was a rare skit where neither actor could hide behind scripts given to them fifteen minutes before the show.
            The victim walked off our floor-stage, past the folded chairs, and out the door. The room had been silent before in preparation for skits, but never like this.
            “Was that planned?”
            He only answered the captured crowd and the brave voice with the smile still on his face, with a slyness plastered on his lips without them moving a muscle.
            One of my friends, another board member, shouted “And that’s our show!”
            I applauded first. Everyone else joined in soon after, with the hooting for a show well done loud, yet muffled. The other board members came in and went through the usual congratulations and announcements about upcoming shows.
            I meet up with Friend One, Friend Two, Friend Three, and Girlfriend after we all picked up our shoes outside the brightly lit floor of the theater room. I hadn’t even arrived, and I was already out of the conversation.
            “I have no idea where that came from.”
            “Yeah, yeah, I know.”
            “What is it?” I asked, wedging myself between Friend Two and Girlfriend.
            “You know that thing were that one guy talked about the other one’s grandpa?”
            “Well, that wasn’t planned at all. We heard him yelling at people afterwards. Really hit a nerve.”
            My vocal chords knotted against my stomach. “Huh.”
            “I feel really bad now, for applauding. I should have known better.”
            “It’s alright,” I was told once more.
            We walked back. Friend Three and Girlfriend revealed that their grandpa had died nearly a year ago, that they too were hurt by how casually a memory turned into a weapon on that loose stage. I think I was beyond the point of relating. My grandpa died four years ago near exactly. I wept and mourned, but the feelings were too far down to say, “I understand how you feel,” to them and mean it. That doesn’t mean I didn’t try, however. 
            Instead of staying at my friend’s room for a while like we usually do, we all decided to head up for the night. I walked back with Girlfriend to her place. She was quiet. Small talk never helps, and there was no exception here.
            “Listen,” I said after, and then I said something I’ve already forgotten. It really must have been that stupid. I remember it was related to how distant she seemed this entire day. It was an admission, a plea of some kind. Something off-topic. I remember her response, though: “I’m just upset about what happened, that’s all.” We spent the rest of the dead-air journey in silence. I hugged her goodnight at the door and walked back to my room.
            So here I am again, back at the beginning. My roommate had not returned from wherever he was again. Something else had entered with me. My usual routine would be to hook up the computer and spend the rest of the night in its loving gaze. But that something else was there, and I wanted to catch it. I wanted to catch it and wrestle it until I understood what I was feeling. Maybe it was that: just feeling.
            “Keep Calm and Party On,” repeated the bee-yellow poster of mine on the wall facing my back. The desk was filled with the toys of old men: stacks of paper, books for learning, books for escaping, a silver laptop, a black printer, rows of pencils forever flat. A scarlet creativity puzzle-trinket given by a friend sat in front, and I dismantled and reassembled it mindlessly as I pondered this new feeling.
            I remember my grandfather’s funeral in bits in pieces, but my immediate reaction is still clear. How I was shaken too much to continue the play I was at with friends, how I read to my family a book full of humorous twists of prophet words to keep us in good spirits. Maybe it wasn’t like that, looking back with fresh eyes. It was a strangling. Something new was emerging then, and I tried to kill it.
            I’ve spent enough time working on this puzzle. I’m not going to go anywhere new with it.

Friday, May 25, 2012

When Traffic Moves

My poetry kick continues.  Any and all feedback is appreciated.

When Traffic Moves
You hear about the low value of hate,
but you know you still see restriction.
Old men sit silently in a cold vacuum;
Who will acknowledge the affliction?
Take my body and you’ll take the moon.
Nothing wrong with that; at least not in this room.
The sky is frozen; the jet stream’s frosted over.
No thoughts of me and you; just duck and cover.

Tone it down and do it fast.
Play the role in which you were cast.
Speak all of the words that you know.
When traffic moves, it’s time to go.

You talked and all the audience heard,
but did anyone really listen?
The cold front rolls in, clear skies fade out.
Look at the freezing rain glisten.
You couldn’t stand good weather today.
The old men still have nothing to say.
For better or worse is neither here nor there.
Get in the car, but don’t go anywhere.

ut the top up and shut the doors.
No one remembers the words anymore.
Try to plug the gaps and hide the seams.
I doubt you would even recognize me.

Do you want to walk me home tonight?

Copyright (C) 2012 by Eric Landuyt

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Final Script

3/3 of my catch-up... This is the "final" script for Catamitus, after having worked with the director and actors in rehearsals, and having made some decisions of my own.  I made several cuts, and added a bit.  I also redistributed some text from Ben to some other actors.  And there are new stage directions- and film portions.  What do you think of this version?  If you had to cut any more lines, which would they be?

I also deleted my old posts on this site, because if you googled "Catamitus Love Slave to God" they'd pop up!  And you can still see it through Google cache... but I thought I would at least try to make the script less accessible/spoilery.  So anyhow, this is the only place you can read it now.

Instead of posting the whole thing, here is a link:  http://catamitusloveslavetogod.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/the-script/

The password is "lingham".

Monday, May 21, 2012


            At this point, Lina was more annoyed than shocked or grateful when someone, moving as a gust, gently caught her from falling down the stairs. As she was gently placed to her feet at the stair’s bottom, the force caught the flying energy drink (spilled contents and all) and restored it to her hand. The entity then vanished from the spotless, rigid house.
            Lina sighed loudly. She didn’t even intend on falling down – she was sure she could’ve taken it and still job-hunt – but she would’ve preferred it to his caring touch again.
            “Why don’t you just carry me like a baby everywhere while you’re at it?!” she screamed.
            She didn’t have time to regret her choice in words before the mighty arms of that being swooshed by and picked her up. His face — chiseled, stoic, small – made her want to throw up and leave the mess on the wall for days.
            “No, not literally! Put me down!”
            With that, the man let her float to her white couch and old pillows, and then disappeared.
            The house had too much room to Lina. No amount of films, clothes, paintings, Playbills, and autographs could make up for the fact that she had seen only one person for about a month now. Not a friend, just a man who cooked for her, dusted for her, carried her places, gave her the house, the clothes, the clown statues, paintings, Playbills. Perhaps this was to make up for what he had taken. As the month before it, she had nothing better to do… maybe today she could finally rid herself of him.
            “Omni?” she called out. “Omni, I’d like to talk.”
            The brief pause that occurred spawned doubt- surely he would hear her at an instance? But this did not last. The chiseled man opened her back door without a touch and flew in, landing carefully in front of her so as to not shatter any glass or dent any floors. The jeans and collared stripes he had been wearing since Lina first saw him appear at the U.N. conference were still immaculately clean.
            “What would you like to talk about?” His voice was both calm and commanding.
            Lina gave him a verbal throwdown to be reckoned with in her mind’s eye, but the tall, buff man in front of her made her reconsider. “I… don’t know just yet. I’m sorry if I’m wasting your time.”
            “Time doesn’t really matter to me.”
            “Right then.”
            A pause later, “Would you like a drink? I’ve got plenty on me…” It was meant to fill the silence, but even Lina couldn’t believe how stupid her question was.
            “I have no need. Thank you.” His posture was patience itself.
            Just jump in. This is your moment, she thought. She smirked, wondering how long it’s been since she’s had one of those. A brilliant proposition had just reached her.
            “So how do I become like you?”
            Omni, who before responded faster than traveling thoughts, had fallen silent. Something powerful was swimming in his mind. He then looked up. “I don’t understand.”
            “I want to be like you. You’ve helped everybody out, becoming a servant to all. I admire that. How did you get such abilities? Were you born with them? Can they be learned?”
            “I received them by accident,” interrupted Omni, with good graces still falling from his voice. “Besides, I do not need that help. I can build a house for all on this planet in minutes, and already have done.”
            “Even for those who don’t deserve it?”
            His soft eyes became as if stone, glaring. Lina couldn’t help but worry that this was somehow one of his powers.
            “I mean, I thought North Korea and some others forbid your help.” She relaxed. You’ve talked your way out of worse.
            “There are those who did not understand I had no reason to remove their foes. It’s all rhetoric; every citizen accepts my help, and I have refused none.”
            “Of course it’s all rhetoric nowadays,” muttered a bitter Lina. No matter the risks, she had to speak. “Politicians are one of the few people with jobs now.”
            “If a person needs me to do their work so they can use the time for themselves, then I’m happy to help.”
            “Use the time for reruns, more like. That still ruins the economy for people like me who don’t need anyone.”
            “Come again?”
            A pain had stabbed through Lina’s gut. She knew she had stepped on a glass line, but had gone too far to think about regrets. For the first time in a while, she had a reason and a power to stand, and did so with toes facing her barriers. The sun was once again her spotlight.
            “I don’t need your help. I’ll do just fine without you.”
            The air in the room stood completely still. Lina heard a low humming behind her, and turned to see the porcelain lamp behind her vibrating. Every painting, window, and tile was vibrating. Omni’s eyes were stone now, albeit completely white.
            “You don’t need my help. The world is now my fingernail, and I have given it all to you. I’ve given it all to your family, and your friends, and to everyone you’ll ever meet. I have kept for myself nothing, and you somehow desire that. Are you discontented? Do you feel cheated in a deal where I gave you the stars for its own sake!”
            “No, please!” She fell to her knees, too afraid to hate what she had been reduced to.
            The air in the room was now his, and he dove up it with arms outstretched. “I now have a condition for the deal! For these acts and possessions, you shall be content. You will have children that will feel joy when their every wish is granted! Is this not how the human system operates?”
            “Yes! Yes!” she cried out with gasping, defeated breath.
            All light from the sun converged onto his floating, stoic being, and then returned to its rightful place afterwards. He had disappeared.
            She couldn’t stop shaking. No plan in her mind could restore her. Any conversation with a friend was too dangerous, since a single crumb of dirt could summon him and lead to him overhearing. She didn’t even know who else could’ve made the deal. She was frozen, trapped by gifts and wishes. Lina felt as if she would never stand again, paralyzed by this concept of regret.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The End of the Dark Period

Catch-up 2/3.  Alright... didn't get any feedback on the last blog posts, but since that's what I write most of the time, thought I'd throw some more out there that you can read if you want.  This time I've put it in more book format- a pdf.  How is this as a sort of chapter or collection of chapters?  Some of the entries are simple, or very short- others are longer, or very much like I'd had too many mushrooms, and so maybe I'm the only one who knows what I mean by my language?  It runs from just after the last I'd posted, in January 2010, to Holy Week in April 2010.  I would call it the end of the dark period of my life.  When it starts I'm still a resentful dick (maybe I still am a little) but, at the end, I have begun to transform into something more positive.  It begins turning up at the start of March, but then there is a retrograde- but retrogrades move forward, and so did I to begin a rebirth of sorts.  So I end with Easter Vigil.

The End of the Dark Period

Eli Week 8: Sugaree Part 1

Wow. Holy sh*t I fell behind hard core. SOOO... I have like 4 weeks to make up. So I'm going to post a rough draft that I kinda wrote a while back but never did anything with. Everything and every character is inspired by the music of the Grateful Dead. Enjoy.


I will also try to get feedback to everyone in the next two days.

Friday, May 18, 2012


So I've got my crop of exams coming up, so next week might not have any poems or short stories.  Here are what my tired brain has come up with:

I've always been
An odd fish
Never part of
The crowd.
I never knew that
None of the crowd knew
Where to go.
The hesitant leader
Leading them all.
Maybe I'm a leader.
I wish.

Sometimes I feel I fit in
And I'm happy,
laughing and saying exactly
what I think.
Othertimes, I creep
and whisper
in the darkness.

I used to play piano because my mother told me so.  I was wasting money she said, I might as well make something out of it.  I stubbornly clunked the keys into an almost recognizable tune of nursery rhymes, still hating not being able to make beautiful music.  Over the years, I was still stubborn, but the beauty came in.  Now, I don't play as well as I'd like to, but the music, oh the music.  It makes me cry and finally I've done something.  Something right.

When I think of someone's name, I think of the first person I met who had that name, or the person with that name who has had the most impact on me.  I suppose it's this way for everyone.  Common names have to be erased to form new memories for this name, better ones or worse.  I'm glad not many people have my name.  I would like to make my own impression and not trod in someone else's, trying to make a difference.

I am the tempest.
The rain.
The thunder, lightning.
The backwards reflection.
The rush, the spray.
I am the soft breeze.
The caress, the sweet smell.
The blowing leaves,
Touchable laughter.
I am the war.
The peace, the silence.
The love, the hate, the hope.
I am the Goddess of Secrets.
I live in all and
All in me.

I want to fall one day.  To fall into my dreams sinking slowly in awe and wonder.  Or to fall in the air, gaily laughing and the wind pushes my hair upward in a halo, ethereal beauty.  Or to fall in your arms, smiling softly, closing my eyes.  Or to fall over laughing with my friends, each of us trying to outdo each other in volume.  Just to fall into something wonderful and happy.  To fall.

I see us biking on a tandem bike, you with your hair blowing, smiling at me, both of us laughing.  We're in Paris, the most romantic city in the world, and its almost night time.  The street lamps are on and we're biking down the pebbled and cobbled streets, the stars reflecting in our eyes, star crossed lovers.  We stop at the corner of the street out of breath, putting the bike away.  We walk hand in hand until we see it in all its glory.  And of course, we kiss.

I'm all opposites.  I don't know who I am anymore, none of me lives in harmony.  You took a layer out, and we all collapsed together in frustration and chaos.  Now, even back together again, there's something missing, something off.  My tune is out of tune, my music has been darkened and warped.  My books are being rewritten in blood ink and my heart?  My heart is empty.

A golden liar you are.
To touch me,
To freeze me.
To make me melt.
A mouse with the skin of wolf.
A snake one with a bird.
How that must weigh your feathers down,
Your hollow bones and chest.
How that must make you quake.
No matter what you do.
I am no apple
And you were no worm.
But you did.

In my mind, I see a leaping meadow nymph, her long black hair trailing down her back as she crosses a tricking brook, laughing.  She's willow and slender, beautiful in all she does.  Her hair does not go tucked away behind her ears, it floats free as a bird.  She disappears behind a tree to wherever she belongs because she doesn't here, in this ugly corrupted world.

If humans were birds
I would love to see
Which one of us could not fly
Due to the baggage clogging
Up our consciences
Our bones.
Which one of us
Can't reach?

Under the willows
A soft breeze blows it's way in
The dandelions.

I've had wall up all this time.
It used to be there to protect me
But it confused good and bad
and I've only hurt myself.
Now, I am taking the wall down.
One piece at a time.
Because if it falls all at once,
I'll still be stung.

There was a day when I saw what I wore.  I wore flying birds, but I did not wear the sky.  Or the trees.  Or the wind.  Or the beauty of it all.  Only the longing to join.

Itareña: Chapter Two

Hey everyone!  So despite my hellish production schedule, I'm going to catch up here.  I'm going to post today and tomorrow and the next day to be sure I've caught up.  I've also gone back and responded with just a little something to everyone's stuff that I've missed so far.  Oh, and as for today, now that I've got my computer back, and have recovered this document too, you get more of this story!


James stared in wonderment as the giant, sleek metal dropped its cloak and slid into visibility over the neighboring fields. It pulled down onto the track adjacent to town. Who would bring a spaceship to Zerhu, he wondered? Only the richest of lords, royalty, and divinity were able to own such things. James was fairly sure only those on the farthest reaches of the world owned spaceships.

James imagined for a moment the life of one who would own a spaceship- to have so much and be restricted by so little. Most people in Zerhu and surrounding countries would never travel as far as the other side of the world... it could take up to twenty years by train to reach the Holy Lands, for instance. Even if someone decided to travel a fortieth of that distance, it was usually for life, and communications with those they'd left at home would be few and far between. A spaceship could cut down on travel time considerably. The fastest could travel to the other side of the world in a few months or so. Yet those ships were only owned by divinity. Being extradimensional entities themselves, and aliens to the material plane upon which mortals lived, only they were capable of controlling the forces which would allow a ship to manipulate timespace well enough to be able to travel faster than light. James could halfway remember a story- he wasn't sure if it was a myth or not- of a demigod human entrusted with his godly father's ship. The human had forgotten to pull out of non-space in “time”, when he was “close” enough to his destination. He forgot to spend a few months traveling in actual timespace. As such, when he arrived, he arrived years too late, his mother and everyone he knew were dead, and he caused such a distortion in the timestream upon arrival that everyone in the immediate vicinity of his landing immediately aged five years, which caused all manner of bodily tragedies. The boy himself disappeared, some say back into non-space, some say to another dimension and to another planet, never to be seen again. Either way, James thought that living with less or more dimensions would probably be hellish.

James felt excitement swirling in his abdomen as he considered the possibility that the ship was owned by a god from the Holy Lands. He wondered how to find out. He could follow it... or he could do the smart thing and stay home, and wait and see if anyone mentioned a foreign dignitary's arrival on the news. If he followed, it could be dangerous. But hell, he could hang back far enough that he'd be safe, yes? Yes. Besides, maybe no one else had seen it arrive. It was a sleepy little town, after all. There may not have been a single pair of eyes cast in the direction of that road at the time James' were. But no. He could see a few rubberneckers already walking down the street toward where it had gone.

James knew he had to act quickly. He ran back through the orchard, into the backdoor of his home. He looked around. His family was playing cards at the kitchen table.

“A spaceship just landed!” he exclaimed.

His mother snorted. “Yeah, the Queen of Ildia decided to take an interest in my complaint against our mayor since our own government wouldn't.”

“No, really,” he said, as he moved quickly to gather a pack and put his important things in it. Luckily he'd usually had that satchel with him at school, and it was still mostly packed from the trip home. It was all he could take for now, on such short notice. “I'm going to check it out. I'm going to walk over down East Street. I'll be back later.” Or not, he thought. But he didn't want to worry his mother, or she might delay him. She wasn't the type to usually worry about him, and luckily, she wasn't now, either. She'd always let him stay out as late as he wanted, no questions asked, anyhow. Why should she stop him now?  Besides, she didn't have much of a chance- he wasn't going to allow her one.

He burst out the door and started trotting over toward East Street. Others were doing the same. He followed them to where the spaceship had pulled in just a little ways outside of town. It had parked by the lagoon. As James arrived, a very small crowd had gathered nearby on an adjacent side of the lagoon. As he neared, he saw people standing around a structure in the center of the lagoon which everyone had always called “The Grotto”. It was nothing special, just some old creepy mausoleum no one ever visited. These people were dressed in exotic finery- James couldn't be sure, but there was a flutter in his heart as he thought it might indeed be a style from the Holy Lands.

A hatch on the spaceship was open, and stairs led down to the ground by the bridge to The Grotto. A woman stepped out of the ship and began descending the staircase to join her company at the mausoleum.
As this woman stepped out into the dusky light, illuminated mostly by the neon-colored lights aglow upon the ship, which cast strange colors and shadows in many directions across her pale skin, James finally understood what his grandfather had once told him about how he'd quit whiskey. It had become a bit of a problem for the old man at a certain point. The kind of problem that interferes with life and causes you to do low things. So James' grandfather saved up for awhile, and after a year, and auctioning off a few possessions, he had the money to send away for a fine, fine bottle of whiskey. A rare, aged bottle very few people had. It wasn't the best bottle in the world, but it was damn close. It cost as much as good farm equipment, or more. James' grandfather had savored that bottle. And after that, he never wanted whiskey again- because nothing else could compare to the taste. It was all just a pale imitation, nothing but disappointment.

James knew, the moment he saw that woman, that he could love no other woman in the world. He could try, but it would be a pale imitation of love- never the real thing. Never the full thing. Some part of his heart would always be missing- because the whole of it belonged to her, he knew, without a doubt. He stared upon her in awe and veneration as he felt what he knew was his soul latching onto her. He didn't even know her- how creepy was that- but he knew he would be dedicated to her for all eternity. The space between them, all the distance, all the empty air and floating dandelion seeds and fireflies blinking, all of that translated into some kind of sweet pain for James. He knew that he could never be satisfied until that distance was closed and he was one with this woman.

He heard a gruff voice behind him to the right break him out of a daydream of doing just that, a daydream so vivid it had made all else in reality melt away for a moment. But this jarring noise brought him back. “Agckh. Itareña.” And with a sinking heart, but a heart he was still unable to retrieve from her, James understood.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Water or Meat

Stretched out on your back
on the side of the road
with nothing to protect you
from the bone-chilling cold
but your tattered red coat
and worn boots on your feet,
you hear a voice whisper,
“Water or meat?”

You struggle to focus
and turn your head to
see the old man
looking down at you.
He steps closer and
drops down to one knee
to ask you again,
“Water or meat?”

Around you, ragged soldiers
trudge on through the morning,
each one assuming the others
must know where they are going.
Former rebels now faced
with the uncertainty
that comes from no longer
having an enemy.

Few chose to stay behind
in the court of the king
who once rose by the sword
but then fell to its sting.
Out of his robes,
the king was just an old man;
beneath crimson satin
were sallow flesh and weak hands.

Your own hands are cold;
your lips so chapped they bleed.
You lack the strength
to voice what you need.
As the old man leaves you,
your tears freeze on your cheeks.
The ragged army moves on.
Winter is unkind to the weak.

Copyright (C) 2012 by Eric Landuyt

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ta da!

They all came out
even though they had been
stuck there
for a while.
I pulled each one
A letter, a voice, a movie
a picture, a thought, a phrase.
I sunk them all down the river
and turned away.

It seemed all too real.  I was standing at a crossroads with several many splits father for each one.  I saw memories past them, floating above each one, laughter and sadness, all of the misery and hope scattered evenly.  I didn't want to choose.  But that was a choice in itself.  "I'm dreaming," I automatically said.  "Or am I really?" I replied just as fast.  I pushed and pulled trying to break free, out of this box, but instead I fell again.  This time I saw the same routes, but I was sitting at the lunch table, surrounded by familiar faces, eagerly awaiting my decision.  I sighed, trying to escape again.

She was a naive fourteen year old girl skipping under hollowed white branches.  Her hair was a shiny black, almost black as the contrast of the night sky against the moon.  Under the starlight, her eyes were a black, a encompassing black that seemed to leave you devoid until she turned her eyes away again.  She was singing a nursery rhyme.   "I hear thunder, I hear thunder.
Hark don't you? Hark don't you?
Pitter, patter raindrops,
Pitter, patter raindrops,
I'm wet through; so are you.

I hear thunder, I hear thunder.
Hear it roar! Hear it roar!
Pitter, patter raindrops,
Pitter, patter raindrops,
I'm all wet! I'm all wet!

I see blue skies, I see blue skies,
Way up high, Way up high!
Hurry up the sunshine,
Hurry up the sunshine
We'll soon dry! We'll soon dry!"  Every so often she laughed, as if she was simply skipping through a meadow of flowers but the harsh reality was that she was skipping through a minefield of explosives.  No matter though, for she did not care.  She simply kept skipping through as one exploded after the other, the sparks causing no alarm or excitement or speed.  Perhaps she couldn't feel it at all, in her happy little meadow as she skipped to her death.

Friday, May 11, 2012

There Is No Time

Some free verse for you all.

There Is No Time
Pristine crystal and expensive paintings decorated the walls
of that overpriced timeshare you always took for the winter. 
You made sure it was filled with the finest of everything,
but you didn’t realize that you had nothing of real value.

The only significant thing you could lose now would be your ignorance.  
You think you’re a master, an old pro who’s seen it all,
but you see nothing, and if I ever believed you did,
then I was as ignorant as you. 

Call me ungrateful, but I wasn’t the one
who never did a thing for anyone else,
who always had an excuse for where he was and what he did  
with “best friends” that I somehow never met. 
They were probably all criminals.

You would say “God loves a winner” to justify always getting your way,
as if success could prove your manipulations were good and right. 
There was nothing you couldn’t twist to your advantage,
and you thought you could smooth over anything and anyone.

Smiles and friendly handshakes may be tools in negotiations,
but they never provided any answers when I called out to you.
I was only damaged goods for you to hide,
and any ill effects could be glossed over and forgotten. 

You never wanted to know a thing back then,
and your money kept me on a string for long enough. 
But the devil won’t sleep forever,   
and my antisocial openness can’t be eliminated or ignored. 

Maybe you mean it when you say you genuinely care now,   
but I think you still just want to make the problem disappear. 
Why do you think knowing me now will change anything?
It’s not meant to be; there is no time.

Copyright (C) 2012 by Eric Landuyt

Friday, May 4, 2012

Poems - Part 2

Second batch of poems to get myself up-to-date.

The Ground Is Rising Up
Certainly the ground is rising up
around the old men
while the sky remains
as still as it has always been.
The rodents hurry to dig down  
in fear the clouds will touch the ground.
You don’t know when you’ll be there,
but you can smell the changing air.

Perhaps tomorrow you’ll start
doing nothing more for yourself.
It doesn’t mean that you care more
or you need less or anything else.
Soon you’ll find that you need more
than you ever thought you would before.
The best-laid plans don’t often stand
when ignorance can play its hand.
Who can you trust when
the kindest have the cruelest intents,
when the healthy are diseased
and no gods will not let you repent?
Experts clamor to fill you in,
but nothing ever seems to begin.
You can hear things in your ears
but don’t know whether to interfere.

Who can say for sure whether you are
a cause or merely an effect?
Will finding out the answer
make you happy or upset?
There is so little we can control,
so we bury ourselves inside our holes.
If you ever go, give it your all.
Get as far as you can before the sky falls.

He Wrote No Letters
He lived out his last days alone   
at the end of a dirt road in Tennessee.       
His nearest neighbors were miles away
and his children never came to visit.
He had no phone
(but then he was half deaf)
and he wrote no letters.
He always kept silk sheets on his bed
because he wanted to die on silk.
He had a bomb shelter in his basement
because he thought the world was not safe.
He tried to grow his own food
and ate just enough to cover his bones.
His face was creased from always frowning,
and he wrote no letters.
His walls held no pictures or mirrors
because there was little he wished to remember.
He stopped keeping a calendar
or making plans for the future.
He could no longer hear the trains
that passed by up in the hills.
He had no one left to call friend or enemy.
He wrote no letters.

Picture A Wounded Child
Picture a wounded child
laying on the ground
crying out for its mother
and the mother walking away.

Copyright (C) 2012 by Eric Landuyt

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Poems - Part 1

To make up for falling behind on submissions, I'm going to crank out some poetry this week.  This is the first batch; more will come later in the week.

Ice-Covered Houses
In your front room, there was a picture of ice-covered houses.
You thought I never gave it a second look,
but I’ll always remember it.
It made me feel like I was standing on a steep hillside,
about to slip and fall down an endless slope.

You believed we could stay in an endless winter
and keep ourselves frozen as we were forever.
But I could see and hear the ice cracking,
and I had to climb out
before I fell any further.
Not Long
Feel these yellowed hands   
with veins the color of a frozen sea.        
So cold to the touch;                              
you can’t hold on for more than a moment.          
Thin blood now runs dry,     
sedated by a dead heart.
The last traces of vigor were
shaken out of this aged body.   

It has not been long.   

Stand alone and listen.
Do not speak in this silent room.    
So few times you’ve seen   
life and death in front of you.  

Raise the curtains now.
Maintain your resolve for the ones who watch.    
They’ll believe anything you say.   
Now is not the time for starting fires.  

It will not be long.
Dreams of Being Chased
I often have vivid dreams in which I am being chased,
sometimes by monsters, but mostly by people.
Many times I escape, but then I go back

and allow my pursuers to chase me again.
What does this say about me?

A Young Girl in the Middle of the Road
A young girl stands
in the middle of the road
during morning rush hour.
Her eyes reflect light
from the yellow sunrise,
and her ears are deaf to the drone
of traffic waiting at a standstill
in the hot morning air.
The lights are green
and the engines are humming,
but the strange girl in the street
will not be shaken.
Doors begin to open
and questions are shouted.
The heat steadily rises
along with the sun.
The girl hears something else,
and all at once,
her frozen feet move
and she begins to dance
in the middle of the road.
Things Change No night leaves the world the same as it was                          
All things self-destruct and reconstruct themselves
Space sheds its old face and replaces it with newness                        
Very few normal people truly stay the same

Copyright (C) 2012 by Eric Landuyt