Month: August 2014

Meet JoLynn Baker

He was wearing her pajamas.  And sleeping on her floor. Unaware of his own state of being. Drool covering his cheek. Conked out with his face pressed in to the edge of a notebook.  An acoustic guitar balanced against his hip threatened to topple over at any second.  He was exhausted so it’s no surprise he fell asleep here, like this.  That he was wearing pink pull-string pajama bottoms shouldn’t be surprising either.  That’s Jared.  Secure in who he is, and simply uncomfortable earlier in his black jeans.  They’re called boyfriend style pjs anyway.  And he’s officially the boyfriend now.

She was wearing a black YSL pantsuit.  Her hair pulled back in a high and tight pony tail.  A gesture of respect shown by wearing the color of mourning.  Even her high heels were black.  The only color, her nails.  Hot pink.  She didn’t have time to change it out before the service and didn’t notice how offensive the color was until she was sitting in a velvet chair holding Matty’s hand inside hers.  She gnawed on the paint all night after that.  Trying to peel away the happy color and replace it with the suitable color of a nude nail.  To no avail.  For once the paint wouldn’t chip.  Gel polish.  Fancy.  Inappropriate.  Fun.  Left over from the long weekend. Their vacation.  The one that just ended this morning when she finally checked her voice mail and heard what happened the Thursday they left town.

Death.  What a way to end the perfect weekend.  Tragedy.  So young.  All their memories erased and replaced with death.  The finality of it all.  The surprise.  She couldn’t catch her breath still.  She’d only just heard.  Thank god she did.  It would have been worse if she missed the wake.  Unforgivable perhaps.  She was thankful for that small miracle.  Thankful she could say goodbye.

“Baby?” JoLynn said as she bent over Jared.  She tossed her purse on the bed with a thud. “I’m home.” she whispered.

Jared didn’t stir.  No signs of life at all.  JoLynn put her hand on his cheek.  Felt the warmth of a man in a deep slumber and she left him there.  Sleep like that is a rarity so she let him be and retreated to her closet where she kicked off her heels and peeled off her suit before sitting down on the ottoman in her stockings, bra and panties.

It was then, as she undid the clasp on her watch and right there on a cushioned seat in the closet, that the gravity of tonight and the reality of everafter hit her.  And she sobbed in to her hands.  Hard like a child. The watch fell to the floor and she paid it no attention. Waves of pure grief poured out of her.  Private grief.  She kicked the closet door closed with her stockinged foot.  And curled up in a ball on the bench. Where she cried until she couldn’t see straight.  Cried until her head ached.  Cried until she was able to breathe again.

JoLynn washed her face in the sink.  Pulled her hair out of the pony tail and shook it out.  She brushed her hair for twenty minutes.  Thought about every day she had with Grady.  Every laugh.  Every tear.  Graduation.  Prom.  Third grade.  She smiled more than teared as she tore the knots inside her curls loose.  Grady.  34 years of Grady.  How could she possibly do the 35th without him?

JoLynn placed the brush back in it’s spot in her vanity drawer and shut off the bathroom light.  Grady. She grabbed the top to the PJ set Jared was wearing from her dresser drawer, slipped it on and kneeled by him at the foot of her own bed.  She whispered in his ear again.

“Baby?” her hand softly shook his shoulder.  “I’m home.” she whispered.  And this time he heard her and rolled over towards her voice.  His arms reached out to her before his eyes opened.  She crawled inside his embrace.  Draped her leg over his thigh and fell asleep right there next to him.  On her bedroom floor.

And they slept like two babies.  Two peas in the same pod.  And he dreamt of colorful music notes. Arranged in rainbow colored clouds.  And she dreamt of train tracks and high rises and bottles of pills and shotguns and nooses and tragedy.  And Grady.

Tonight (Ihatepoetry*)

I can’t get this image out of my mind.  Of you with your hands around her throat.  Your lips by her earlobe.  Your saliva on her neck.  I can’t stop imaging every thrust.  Each pinch and every kiss.  It’s torturous and marvelous and incestuous.  These images of you.  You and her.  The two of you in an embrace I only dream about.  I can’t stop wondering what it’s like. What…you’re…like.  Because I’ve gone off my medication and you’ve gone off with her.

When will you return?  Will…you….return?  Back to the chair you used to occupy in the world where I remain.  When will you come back home.  To my bosom.  My womb.  You were getting comfortable here.  Inside the trap I laid for you.

The measure between breaths.  Notes.  Musical.  Mystical.  Mine.

Come home.  Be inside… here…. again.  For a measurable moment.  A sigh.

I know. I know. I’m that pebble on the pathway. Rolling down the embankment while up on a hillside.  Lights down below.

Be my tomorrow.

Sit inside my sigh and remember my name.  Call it out from your lust.

Be.  With.  Me.  Again.

Tonight.

 

 

 

*I apologize for all the poetry lately you guys.  I loathe it too but it’s all that he has inspired thats blog-able recently.  Seems like it hasn’t scared too many of you away (yet) so I hope you can stand it for a little while longer. 

Botched (ihatepoetry)

If I had plastic surgery….
would you take care of me?

If I made my nose a button
peeled my skin to airbrushed silk
lasered off years of being a glutton
bleached my teeth to almond milk
forced my back in to a straight line
injected my lips fuller, wrinkles fine
Mastopexy,Rhytidectomy,Blepharoplasty,
not me not me not me not me not me

If I became some other being…
could I be who you need me to be?

Needy bitch (ihatepoetry)

I don’t really need you.

I’ll write myself a world and put you in it.

Make love to you every which way – infinite.

Tell you jokes, you’ll always smile.

Within my stories you stay awhile.

But I want you.

Your touch, your breath, your weight, your song, your giggles, your knowledge, your voice, your thoughts, your everything.  I want it. All of it.  I could never write you justice.  My imagination could never be that grand.  I want the real thing.  Flaws. Fuck-ups. Tears. Drama. Anger. Fists.  I want it all.  Broken glasses. Tired face.  Sick stomach.  Empty closets.  Suitcases by the door.  I want the lonely space you leave behind.  The hollow in my pit.  I need it – crave it.  Must have it.  Taste it.  Tangle within my sheets.  Your imprint on my pillow.  Your scent on my night shirt.  Your hairs on the sink.  I want it all.  I need it.

Rumor 2

Rumor was fiending. Bad. And her eyes were red. Hot coals.  Her throat was dry. The Sahara. And she was shaking, not from fear: from need.  The two blocks back from the park to her place were brutal on her feet.  She blew through the toe of her left sneaker running during a sweep and lost the other one entirely somewhere between the curb and where she stood now, trying to light a cigarette she found half-smoked on the ground as she made her way back to her stinky rat-less because-it’s-that-much-of-a-mess walk-up shit-hole apartment, where she was sure a ten was tucked in the lining of an old wool coat, that was laying across a purple velvet wing-chair she lifted from the garbage a few months ago. Fiending like mad though she had already sank smack in to her vein twice.  The need was so strong but the drugs she was able to cop were weak.  Weaker than water running through her rusty pipes.  Her feet were sore and black from the street.  Her lips were cracked.  Her skin had erupted.  And thats when Jared ran in to her again.  She had the shakes and he had her box.

“That’s mine.” she whispered when he held it out before her.  The stench of hell and death and rot on her.  No longer cute.  A real fucking mess.

“I know.” he gasped. “Are you ok?”

Rumor flipped the lid off the box, dumped out her art supplies, grabbed the knot of bills off the pavement, counted each one and took off backwards towards the park. “Thanks man!” she shouted like it was Christmas and she had a Wonderful Life.

Jared, her Miracle somewhere below 34th Street, crouched down on the ground, scooped up Rumor’s art supplies and tucked them in to his deep coat pockets as she disappeared up the street.  Jared hates waste and Rumor …she’s wasting everything. Jared flipped his cotton hood up over his head and marched the opposite direction.  He figured, Rumor would probably need the charcoals that were staining the inside of his pocket someday, someday soon, when the $150 is gone and she’s sick again.  Her art: a meal ticket.  The meal: crystalline alkaloid.  He would come back down here another day to see if he’s right about that.

Jared disappeared after one last look over his shoulder in the direction she headed, a small hesitation in his heart, and then he too was gone in the night.  Not feeling very Jimmy Stewart knowing that Rumor is no Donna Reed.

3am Eternal (ihatepoetry)

She was there and he refused to look at her.
And it annoyed him that he noticed her.
That he kept noticing her, in a sea of all the others.
She.made.his.skin.crawl.

But she made him notice her by subsisting underfoot.
And, oh Lord, it annoyed him that she was there.
Made him miss a step then stumble.
But he’s the one in control.
He won’t look at her.  Not again.

He can’t.
He refused.

But then he did.

And he saw her laugh.  And he saw her sing.  And he couldn’t stop thinking about her when he looked away. Couldn’t stop….feeling….something.  An itch.  A revulsion.  Anything.  Everything.  Something.  Twice.  Then again.  Another time.  A different block.  He needs her to look at him.

Then a second night came and she was there again.  In his world.  And this time he was angry. And curious. But mostly angry.  Who let her in?  Better yet … Now …  Why did he even notice she was there?

She.makes.his.skin.crawl.

So, he set about to ignore her.
In quite the grand fashion.
And she….didn’t notice.

And then they were together
side by side
and she had nothing to say to him.

He waited for her to speak.
Gave her the floor and a wide berth.
An opening.
But…she had no words for him.

He scratched his beard.
Clawed out his eyes.
Bled his veins and they still didn’t speak.

He remembered the poetry.
How she calls him her muse.. 

…her Eddie

And his skin, it did crawl.  And his spine, it did curve, inward like hers. And he wanted to claw her eyes out.

Not a hello.  Nor a goodbye.  Nothing in between.

All of these truths exist.  They existed.  They will remain.

She’s alive and he is not happy and he made it known.

Because of his mouth and his eyes, his fingertips and brain: On a third day, quite the same as the others, she refused to look at him.

When he was there, her eyes were on another, his brother.
And he couldn’t stand it.  And he couldn’t stand her.
And he couldn’t stand that he noticed her.
At all.  Again.  Afresh.  Anew

All of this….everything about her…made his skin crawl.

And he could’t bloody stand it!

So he ignored her, while she ignored him and the moment passed and he went on and she went home and life….well, it continued quite nicely for both of them and there was nothing left to say, though so much should have been spoken.  But he believes, and always will, that she should be beautiful.  Stunning, perhaps, and she…this one: with too many words, nonsense day after day after day and ….then…no words at all…is not.

And he can’t stand it.

Rumor

Jared was still holding Rumor’s leg aloft as he felt himself soften inside of her. She was panting and holding tightly to his shoulders. A flamingo in kitten heels.  Her eyes shut tight. Hot breaths escaping through her open mouth, followed by a sweet shiver down her spine. Jared swept her hair back from her face with his free hand and pecked her bottom lip a half-dozen times. He kissed her eyelids. Above her eyebrow.  The tip of her nose.  She was soaked with perspiration. His more than hers.

Because she kept closing her eyes, Jared let his eyes wander down to her neck.  Beads of sweat glistened at the base of her throat and Jared couldn’t help but scoop up the salty droplets with his tongue while he regained his composure.

He loves the taste of her.  Brine and lavender.  Coconut water.

“That was…” Rumor’s breathy voice trailed off as Jared slowly backed himself out of her.  A globule of his seed coated her velvety labia.  The sight nearly readied Jared for round two, for a moment.

Jared ran his pointer finger through his leavings and slipped the finger back inside of Rumor briefly before carefully releasing her leg, staying close to catch her if necessary as she steadied herself again on two feet.

Rumor’s party dress fell back in to position as she shimmied her thong upward to cover the bits of her that Jared most coveted.  A most intimate place. Second only to the mind.  Jared deposited himself and his mess inside his red-striped briefs, pulled up his jeans and buckled without zipping.

“It was.” he whispered.

_________________________________________________

TWENTY YEARS EARLIER

Under a city street, beneath the gulch but above the chasm, sat a subway train stained with urine and graffiti.  Inside car four of that subterranean train was a twenty-something girl, a dozen transients and a young Jared Leto.

The girl, close to Jared’s age, was oblivious to the sights, sounds and scents wafting around her.  Lost in a daydream.  The transients didn’t stay long enough to make an impression on anyone. Invisible nobodies.  Jared Leto yawned deep, his hand hooked through a ceiling strap, as he waited for a seat to open.  He wasn’t anyone special either.  Yet.

Regardless that it has been a rather balmy Spring in the city, thus far, the girl in car four wore fingerless knit gloves and a cap that matched. Charcoal Gray over peach skin.  A long strand of yarn hung from the thumbs on both gloves.  Begging for a tug.  Jared fantasized about pulling on one of the strings until the gloves unraveled entirely, before settling in to a seat diagonal from her and shutting his eyes.

The girl started tapping her fingers against a shoe box that sat in her lap.  Her beat wasn’t regular.  Quarter notes then eighth note triplets.  It was driving Jared nuts, but also keeping him awake, so he let it go.  He had a long way until his stop.  And surely she wouldn’t be the most annoying person he’d encounter tonight.

The subway train shimmied and shook its way beneath Manhattan.  Under the high rises, black topped parks and hot dog carts they went.  The lights flickered periodically like they do.  People got on and off at every stop.  The car was empty now, except for that girl and Jared Leto.  The only riders, for a brief moment, headed all the way down town.

Inevitably the girl stopped tapping on her shoe box and Jared looked over towards her worried that she may have fallen asleep herself.  He felt a little protective of this weird girl now, fifteen minutes in to their trip, riding the subway all alone.

He didn’t need to worry, though, she was wide awake.  Occupying herself with painstakingly unwinding the wire to her headphones, then pulling off her knit cap.  Her shoulder length hair was so bleached it was closer to white than yellow. Unkempt and wild.  Frizzy.  Static-y.  She had little beads woven in to strands of her hair.  Enough that if she whipped her hair, she might jingle.  Jared closed his eyes and listened to her movements.  He anchored himself to the rustling of her fabrics high above the screeching brakes. Her beads made no sound though he could hear her fidgeting in her seat. Her hair might be dreading, the music trapped in a knot, as part of a look or maybe she is homeless.  Jared couldn’t tell.  Her getup was either artsy or sad.  He suspected she’s both.  Abandoned or maybe lost.  Mental case or just a girl.  Who knows.  No one on the train cares.  That’s for sure.   Not even Jared (on the surface, deep down she intrigued him).

Jared kept himself awake by imagining a background story for her – he made her clothes a costume he would wear.  He mimicked her hand movements in his own lap.  Tapping an imaginary box just like she did.  His long fingers curled in a feminine way.  He gave the girl an accent, then changed it twice when the lilt didn’t come out right under his breath.  He decided she’s from that part of New Jersey:  Too central to pick up a New York affect, too close to the shore to abuse the English language like they do in Philly.  Some middle-ground place in the middle of the Garden State.

The girl was oblivious to his starring, his rewriting of her history.

Softly, she moved her hand from the shoebox to a spot of exposed skin near her collarbone where she must have had an itch.  She rubbed the tip of her pointer finger back and forth against her skin while she gazed out the window (or perhaps at her reflection since they weren’t moving again just yet).

Jared noticed she had a strange tattoo below her collarbone.  A triangle and words in Latin, maybe, that he couldn’t translate.  An arrow shot through the center of the triangle and crossed the T in flagratus. A triangle split in two…or is it three?  He drew it on his hand.  A triangle with a horizontal line through the middle.

Jared scanned her skin for more ink and didn’t find much.  Inside the girl’s earlobes were delicate hoop earrings. Along her helix, a row of faux diamonds.  The girl settled her headphones over her ears and pressed play on her walkman.  Her fingernails were visibly dirty.  The cassette tape clicked and whirled with great fan fare.

Jared looked away again. Maybe his character should be from the Bronx.  Bamboo earrings, spit-curled baby hair and bright yellow Reebox.  She’d be on a different train, listening to Heavy D.

The girl’s music was loud, Jared could hear it all the way on his side of the car, but unidentifiable.  He chewed on the end of a pen as he stared past the other riders in car four and directly at the girl again.

He heard an underground sound.  Deep base but inaudible vocals.  Jared prefers the vocals.  He strained to listen closer. To identify a note.  He isolated the bass, maybe a cello.  The girl was listening to an orchestra.  On volume ten.  Jared put his hand in his back pocket and slipped out his beloved memo pad.  Forty pages from the front he wrote the words:  Mary was a different girl.  Had a thing for Orchestra*.

The girl shifted in her seat and Jared chewed harder on his Bic pen. Her corduroy overalls were two or three sizes too big for her frame.  She looked lost inside them.  Vulnerable.  Jared couldn’t really tell if she was wearing a shirt at all, though he was measuring every inch of her with his eyes.  She kept fiddling with the lid of her shoe box.  Tapping on it. Then lifting it.  She might have been nervous.  Incessantly checking and then rechecking the contents of her box.  Or maybe she was saying hello to a critter. Either way she kept lifting the lid, taking inventory and closing it.

She flipped the cassette tape over, fast forwarded to a song, reversing until she was cued up to the first note of the song.  When the music came on, she started tapping again.  In perfect time with the music Jared could only sort-of hear.

At the Fulton Street Station, the car emptied out and Jared lost sight of the girl.  He sighed and put his head in his hands.  Another weirdo lost in the night.  He looked up again, when a transient bumped his knee and noticed the girl’s shoebox laying on the seat where she had been sitting.

He couldn’t believe, given her attention to the box the whole ride, that she left it behind.  Jared scooted past the other riders to retrieve the box.  On top it said Stride Rite.  Inside were art supplies.  Good quality supplies.  Charcoals.  Chalks.  Thirty, maybe thirty-five, five dollar bills were tucked in the corner of the box.  Jared scanned the car for her again, hoping she’d hopped back on when she realized she left the box behind.  A girl like her, probably needs this $150 bad.  For survival.  Rent.  Life.  Jared turned over the lid of the box “portrait or caricature, $5” was scribbled in black marker.  A rolled up sample inside.  A bald man, toothy smile, I love NY t-shirt.  Cartoonish.  Sweet.  And quite good.

Jared hopped off the train at Chambers Street, the girl’s box tucked under his armpit and quickly flagged a taxi cab to take him back uptown.  He was going to find her, if he could, and if it took all night.