Looking from outside into an open window one never sees as much as when one looks through a closed window. There is nothing more profound, more mysterious, more pregnant, more insidious, more dazzling than a window lighted by a single candle. What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what goes on behind a windowpane. In that black or luminous square life lives, life dreams, life suffers.

Across the ocean of roofs I can see a middle-aged woman, her face already lined, who is forever bending over something and who never goes out. Out of her face, her dress, and her gestures, out of practically nothing at all, I have made up this woman’s story, or rather legend, and sometimes I tell it to myself and weep.

If it had been an old man I could have made up his just the same.

And I go to bed proud to have lived and to have suffered in some one besides myself.

Perhaps you are asking, “Are you sure that your story is the real one?” But what does it matter what reality is outside myself, so long as it has helped me to live, to feel that I am, and what I am?

Original poem by Charles Baudelaire

Off Course

“I’ll never be able to talk about this,” thought Misty.

She was right, of course. There would never be an appropriate time to reveal that her love for the boy was only in theory,  not at all in practice.

Lost in the mall maze, Misty absentmindedly turned left into a department store. She wobbled through aisle upon aisle, glancing at the different styles of yarn deftly wadded into the varying sizes of ladies’ legs and torsos. She wasn’t looking for anything particular, just giving her body something to do as her brain puzzled irreversible things.

Misty’s eyes scanned  the racks, mechanically, viewing line-by-line the suggested coverings for women her age. She was twenty years old, though no longer the right shape, it appeared.

This much was clear to the teenage sales girl who approached Misty, offering assistance in the form of directions to the maternity section.

“This isn’t permanent,” Misty snapped.

The girl frowned a little, then gave a nod and returned to folding tank tops.

“It’ll pass.”

She was right, of course. Pregnancy would pass, though prolonged conditions always leave their mark. The boy would be forever.

Misty walked slowly to the children’s clothing and began rifling through outfits. She picked up a blue shirt and a pair of green shorts attached to the same small hanger. She stared at the drawing on the tiny shirt: a tiger riding proud on a surfboard. “A novel thing,” Misty thought with a sigh. She shook the hanger back and forth and watched the clothes swish like holey dishrags.

Settled on the tiger, she made her way to the nearest register and took her place behind a woman who was paying for a pink sun dress and white shoes. Misty looked from the items on the counter to the outfit in her hand. The tiger grinned behind sunglasses, enjoying the crest of his wave.

“Miss?” came a voice from behind the counter. “Miss? Are you ready to check-out?”

Misty looked up, startled, her hands then empty. She shook her head and took two steps backward.

“No,” she said, “This isn’t what I wanted.”

She was right, of course. But her wave broke all the same.

Escape Goats

Instead of a curb was a goat head solidified as stone. Behind its calcium horns trailed the remnants of branches and moist, crinkled leaves. However, the heart of the beast still beat wild and red, untouched by the crystal decay. Its pulses and rhythms drew it further away from the body it no longer worked for.

How could it happen? What leads an organ to strike out for its own sake? When wholes grow weaker through set, stubborn ways, then the parts must create their own schedules. Therefore, all of the pieces of once living goats are free to each blur out of focus.

Everything of Importance

Knife of a midge tree

1. He sat budgly on the scoop of the bed, begging the indiction, “You guess what first word pops into my mind.” His voice rose and soared through the nimbus, reaching a teetering brink with a, “YOU GUESS WHAT FIRST WORD POPS INTO MY FUCKIN MIND!” I quoke and broke and slobbered down, defeated by one mighty howl. Billow. No, Susan: Happy Father’s Day.

2. It is only after the cocoon has ruptured and punctured the arthrital pit that the whole crux of the thing takes root and results in one big hell of a breakdown. This isn’t Chicago style we’re talkin’ here- this is some real heavy shit. We’re talkin’ deep dish  “DON’T YOU FUCK WITH THIS” shit.

3. As the dawn broke and the limer bird collapsed the sky and strove off into the infinity port, I emerged from the crystalline marriage bed and reached for the closest nectar bottle. I quickly polished it off and discarded the corpse-shell in the disposable pantry liner that stood stately in the corner. Not at all the type of action expected of  a Colonel of Medicine, but under the circumstances, I have to think they will allow it. After all, no one ever told me otherwise…

4. Sitting perched on a trr, wondering which way was the western sun, he launched a spifter from his beak and tasted the wind fumes upon his numptins. It was clearly the brisk kind of day all had been waiting for. Now, finally, work could be continued on the escape raft, and something could be done about this damn turtles.

5. Amazing how the human mind comprehends, deposits, stores, and recalls all of this bullshit. No need to ever know this stuff, and yet, here it is. Prime for the pickin’. What a world.

Joke to Sonnet

A man walks into a bar with a giraffe. He says, “A beer for me and one for my giraffe.” And they stand around drinking for hours until the giraffe passes out on the floor. The man pays the tab and gets up to leave. The bartender says, “Hey! You’re not going to leave that lyin’ on the floor, are you?” The man says, “That’s not a lion, it’s a giraffe.”

Once a gentleman arrived at a bar

In the company of a grand giraffe.

They’d walked, for want of a spacious ‘nuff car,

And now both sought to imbibe a carafe.

“Some booze for me and my friend, good shop keep!”

Sang the man, though his voice was depleted.

Two large drinks were soon served, and though not cheap,

They were gulped and the order repeated.

The giraffe, after hours of drinking,

Fell to the floor, so the man paid the tab,

And to the front door he started slinking,

‘Til the angry barkeep stopped him to gab.

“Don’t leave that lyin’ there! What, are you daft?!”

“Tis no lion,” said he, “But a giraffe.”