Subjective

9-23-2017 - Subjective - Xvia ~philosophy~

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Esplanade

9-22-2017 - Esplanade X

Esplanade

There’s an angry carpenter building
a table without any legs
a mother teaching her children
to fetch, sit up and beg
The dogs of night make a prayer
for the lady without any hands
She applauds the one-legged preacher
who left his parts in old Viet Nam
Innocent drug angel darlings
stare into the guns of the raid
and the children under the table
bless their hearts
Esplanade

You will never know where I’m going
until your feet taste paths I have been
a tear and a cup overflowing
sins of the lost captain’s men
I wonder if I might find purchase
a brick or a ring in the wall
a coffin to hang on forever
to hear the great sparrow’s call
There’s a chorus of blind singing patriots
flying a song without wings
They may lose their direction
They will never forget how to sing
She is an opening flower
a path for the living parade
Lay down in her soft bed of roses
to bleed
ah, sweet Esplanade

May be the gods do not see them
May be the gods’ eyes are blind
There is no end to their praying
for surely the gods must be kind
They hide away from the madman
who tells them they are betrayed
He waits for the full moon to take him
then he howls, howls
Esplanade

Dead poets speak through their silence
whisper “return nevermore”
A child looks in the mirror
wonders, ‘Why the hell was I born?’
Someone has slain all its warriors
tortured the king of its soul
Mother and father are preying
in the barroom for pots of its gold
Life is a constant reminder
death, the warrior who waits
Fate owns the face in the mirror
the key to the lock on its gate
So have you noticed her freedom
the laughter behind all her lies
where chaos and order go dancing
only chaos survives
I walked the shores of her oceans
soft and cold and afraid
followed the paths of her creatures
cross her vast expanse
Esplanade

I have tasted the breath of her seasons
her bitter roots and sweet wine
and though I know she is wounded
I seek her like something divine
As I approach her wound I am kissing
the blood drops her suffering made
my feet caressing her footsteps
My lips whisper
“Sweet Esplanade”

She lays her pain out before me
the soft ragged edge of her truth
I lick the scent of her fire
with the misguided tongue of my youth
Her scars are written upon me
from sleeping too close to the wound
skin so easily broken
on this eggshell side of the moon
The tides are breaking forever
on a sweet violin never played
where only warriors are dancers
on the last grass
Esplanade

I’m breaking bread with the serpent
making love with the mice
There’s a game I play with the devil
betting against loaded dice
I die at the end of my prayer
My face breaks the earth unafraid
Your heavy stones on my body
I cry out
“Sweet Esplanade”

I have drunk myself into stupid
sung her praises through my whiskey breath
for the tender peace of her body
the long-suffering pain of her death
I keep a piece of her soul in my pocket
I sleep with her every night
I hear the wind through the willows
kiss her lips when we fight
A beggar has set her on fire
for a ransom that will not be paid
A thief has stolen her jewels
She suffers it well
Esplanade

There is a ghost haunting my castle
She cries, goddam, I know why
Her heart is ten thousand times broken
She tries, they won’t let her die
So she crawls in my bed of an evening
struggles to keep me awake
I find myself reaching for her
hungry for the love we could make
Courage lies under the blanket
The windows are filthy inside
You cannot see through a mirror
just going along for the ride
She is all, she is all that exists
make myself naked and wade
follow her down ‘til eternity passes
She is all, she is all
Esplanade

All tangled up in my covers
afraid of the dark and the day
I wait ‘til she comes to hold me
and chase my darkness away
Then I lay at her breast like an infant
suckled and cozily warm
She covers my seed with the earth of her body
to shelter me from the storm
I drink her milk and I bite her
feeding upon her the same
I call her triangular mother
and know her by no other name
With her blood and milk on my muzzle
I cry in the mess I have made
She wraps me in flowers and powders my ass
She is all, she is all
Esplanade

I live in a box in the attic
measure my space two by two
drag myself out for holiday weekends
and photograph pictures with you
Maybe I’ll take you there with me
touch with my hands in the dark
Which one is which
I get so damned confused
like a child playing with cards
The best of the times I am rolling
in fields of flowers and shade
watching the children as they start their journey
into her heart
Esplanade

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© 2017 artwork, music & words
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Tom (WordWulf) Sterner 2017 ©

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Run Away

~Run Away~ X

I’m going to live in the country
I have squandered my youth on the city
I cry every night
for the woman and I might run away
I am haunted every night in the city
I wake up like the souls of the damned
I know very well
the woman is my hell, run away

I’m going to live on the mountain
far away from my youth and the city
until my tears go away
for the woman and the day, run away
I’m going to leave my heart in the city
I will wander the path on the mountain
Until you come to tell
me the woman loves me well, run away

There’s a lonely soul in the country
a spirit on the prowl on the mountain
The wind blows at night
for the woman and it might run away
His tears fall down on the mountain
They follow the river to the city
She bathes every night,
yes, the woman knows he might run away

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Haiku: Ten Thousand Whispers Brother Blood

9-8-2017 - Brother Blood Xvia ~philosophy~

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Incomprehensible

9-7-2017 - Incomprehensible Xvia ~philosophy~

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Gordian Objective – Chapter One – Hood Talks

8-30-2017 - Gordian Objective art_pe

Gordian Objective

Four of them climbed the stair, exalted by the mad riot, made golden by the moment, immortal and soon quite dead.

Chapter One
Hood Talks

The lights flickered and went out. A three-hundred-mile-an-hour locomotive smashed through their brains. The two men were compressed, encased in a half inch ball bearing, and bounced across the room. Jimi’s guitar was moaning and screeching feedback through an amplifier in flames. A black man laughing.

Pop! Fire lights returned. Time wiggled, squeezed the chord an octave higher. Hood grinned sardonically and Wulf shook his head. “What the hell was that?”

“You asked about time,” Hood growled, “If you and I were running out of it. Then a conundrum I believe, asking me if you had misunderstood me. You wanna put a name to that little trip we just took or learn why and how it’s done. Wanna drive the train? Is it tomorrow or just the end of time? Jimi knew the right questions and played the hell out o’ that guitar. What he didn’t have was the answers. I got a few. All you gotta do is listen. Can you do that, Wulf?”

Wulf nodded his head in acquiescence. When Hood resumed, he changed gears, his voice was a mechanical hiss, the whisper of fan blades chopping apart the air. “You understood me well enough. You and I are trapped within the capsule of time. It owns us as it can’t and shouldn’t own a mortal man or woman. That’s the problem we have. The things that must be done concern those we love, those whose lives we’re responsible for. They can’t follow us into the never of our forever. We have no right to attempt to change them into monsters like ourselves. We have to fix things for them now, give them a chance to be normal.”

Hood noticed a perplexed and questioning frown on Wulf’s face. He raised a hand, begging his silence. He stood and walked slowly to the work bench, no longer the athletic man of action but a man weary, worn all the way out. He opened a can of salve, scooped a bit onto his fingers. He kept his back to Wulf while he rubbed the salve into his throat behind the chrome speaking device. He turned around, an expression of relief on his face and returned to his seat. “See, Wulf,” he said tiredly, “you’ll have to be patient with me. I’m not used to talking to, well, to anyone now and there’s this damned thing!” He pointed to his throat. “I have a lot of plans, plans within plans, but my priorities keep getting all scrambled up. I’m trying to explain it all to you but I get started in the wrong spots then lost there. I know how you love to talk and debate but right now I need for you to just listen to me. Don’t judge what I say or try to change my thinking, just listen. When I’ve had my say you can ask questions, comment, or whatever you feel like. I get absorbed, angry. I tend to lose my sense of direction. Here…”

Hood pulled a drawer out of the center of the table. After rustling around in it a bit he handed Wulf a note pad and an old cigar box full of writing pens. He reached far back in the drawer and withdrew a small metal box covered in red velvet. He pushed this across the table to Wulf. “Help yourself. I’m not much of a host. I’m afraid if you need anything you’ll just have to ask for it unless you can find it yourself. I’m utterly self-absorbed.”

Wulf stood up. “Now that you mention it, sorry to interrupt but it sounds like this could take some time and, well, nature calls.”

Hood handed the red box to him. “Of course,” he said. “Take that with you and take your time. Go through the door at the far end of the bench by the grinder.”

Wulf stepped into the rest room and was struck once more by the contrasting conditions existing in the labyrinth. The room was huge and appeared to be as clinically clean as an operating room. A row of stalls lined one wall. Across from them was a huge swimming pool and an open area with a sauna, whirlpool and assorted physical fitness machines. Wulf shook his head and entered the nearest stall. It was furnished simply with a commode, sink and mirror. He opened the red velvet box and grinned. The white crystal powder reflected bright florescent light.

When Wulf returned to the tool room he shared a simple lunch with Hood. They had egg salad sandwiches, barbecue potato chips and grape koolaid. Wulf allowed himself a self-satisfied smile while he sipped the sweet drink. This was the lunch of their youth. They didn’t eat at home much back then but when they did, nine times out of ten, this simple fare would suffice. It was a welcome respite from fast food restaurants. The two men ate in the atmosphere of quiet camaraderie afforded to old friends, silence allowing shared memories to bridge the deep distance of years spent apart. For half an hour they were nineteen years old again, free of pain and new to the world. When they had finished eating Hood cleared the table. He set the small stack of dishes on the work bench. He left the pitcher of koolaid on the table after refilling both glasses.

Wulf winked at him and raised his glass. “Here’s to koolaid,” he said. “Glad it survived the Conflict.”

Hood responded with an empty smile. “Yes, but that we were all so lucky.” He shifted uneasily in his chair, reached across the table to open the notebook in front of Wulf. It was new and the pages were empty. Hood watched Wulf expectantly as he rummaged through the box of pens. He finally selected a black felt with rolling ball written on the side. Wulf looked up into Hood’s eyes and wrote at the top of the first page:
Hood (labyrinth)

Wulf turned his glass round and round in his right hand and Hood began to speak. “Yes, well, first things first, my son Zakariah and my sister Jennifer. I’ve spent a lot of time in the walls and floors of your home since I learned to travel. You are one with your children and not with your woman.”

Wulf opened his mouth to speak but thought better of it when Hood bit his lower lip and closed his eyes, a look of deep sadness and pain bleeding through his features. Wulf set his glass down. He felt embarrassed. “You got that right about me, Hood,” he admitted. “I was ready to take issue with you about Lenore and your obvious voyeurism. I apologize, please, please continue. I’ll try to hold my arguments and comments for the end of your statement.”

Hood opened his eyes, twin pools of dark stone. He looked away and began again. “There is love, no, there is great peace in your home. You’ve created a place for it to be borne. Your children have made a place for it to live and grow. I’ve laughed with you and at you many times, Wulf. You’ve found and created what you always told me you were searching for. You’re sitting smack in the middle of it and searching harder now than ever before. You were right and I was wrong. You’ve lived your hopes and dreams into existence with your children but you have to become aware of mistakes you’ve made and be willing to address them. I can see it through the window, that which I never had the heart to hope for or aspire to. Let the woman go. She’s good but her peace won’t be found with you nor yours with her.”

Hood paused. He reached across the table, laid a heavy hand on Wulf’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, old friend. She loves the boy, Kai Luk. That’s why she’ll leave him with you. She knows that’s where he belongs. She’s inclined to render herself sick and helpless in a vain attempt to draw you to her, where you’ve never been and will never truly be. When she’s gone, harmony will rule your house.”

Hood dipped a finger in his glass then rubbed the liquid on his lips. The cavern was cool but beads of perspiration had gathered on his forehead. He wiped them off with his sleeve, stopped to touch his throat. Wulf had placed the red box on the table. He pushed it toward Hood, offering it in a gesture, reluctant to break his silence. Hood smiled a genuine smile, softly this time. The edges seemed to have begun to melt away. “No, I keep that here just for you, Wulf. I always knew you’d come and I remembered your love for the white powder. You’re here and it’s yours.”

He picked the box up from the table. It was lost in his big hand. He placed it back in front of Wulf. Hood was fidgeting, stalling for time it seemed. He looked away from Wulf once more then continued. “I am not a voyeur, although the happiness in your home has warmed the darkness of many a lonely night for me. I went there looking for you. I found your children. That’s how I knew what you were talking about when you said Tah Lak needed to be dealt with immediately. He’s a hot-blooded and impetuous young man, just like someone I used to know. I went there looking for the one and only true friend to my life. There you were and, lo and behold, I had found a home for my Zak and Jenny.”

Try as he might, Wulf couldn’t wipe the expression of surprise from his face. He scribbled under the heading in his note book:
Hood’s Son-Zakariah and Sister-Jennifer

He looked up into Hood’s dark eyes and the man continued to speak. “Yes, that’s my first order of business with you. You’ll take my Jennifer and Zakariah out of this foul hole and plant them like beautiful flowers in the garden of your children. When this dark night is at an end, you’ll understand why this must be. I love them.” He paused, held his face in his hands. “How can I say this? How? I am the murderer of my son’s mother. I loved her too, too much. I was a god. She knew full well I was a god. That’s what she wanted. She married me for that and found out soon enough that the god was a man. I went on trial before a jury of my peers. Now there’s a joke! Gods don’t have peers, but gods aren’t appointed, are they?”

Hood’s voice grew stronger. Wulf sensed an electricity enter the air when Hood began talking about his wife and his football career. Hood pounded on his own chest. “I was appointed to my god position because of my size, the color of my skin, by their need to suck every last bit of decency from my soul, not that there was much of that to bleed through. They required a godboy and I was overjoyed to become the appointed, the chosen one, the exalted. Because I was all those things, you know that. I was big and quick, strong, mean and black! Black! Black! Only you or the others from the House would be aware of the dark comedy of my charade. I played their silly little game, the big game, followed the bouncing ball, endured the attacks of their flimsy little muscle men. I could have just as soon ripped all their heads off and shit down their scrawny bleeding necks! They came at me with all the rage they could muster and I held myself in check, swatting at them like the annoying little blow flies they were! If they’d had any idea what they were really facing they’d have soiled their itsy-bitsy jock straps!”

Hood was rolling now, his face a mirror of conflicting emotions and the flood broke. “Their highway to heaven is paved with carnage, the blood buckets of hell! I had fancy friends, peer-gods, if you will. We didn’t take what we wanted because they needed to give us more than we wanted, more than anyone could ever need. They had to engorge us with their filthy feast. I say again, we were more than willing. I had gaggles of pretty white girls. I kept score and so did they. They hung from the end of my dick like ornaments and still I was black and still she wasn’t mine. She never was. I bought her but she had no idea how to serve her god. She had plenty of appetites of her own. I didn’t kill her because she was white or because she was a woman. It didn’t have anything to do with jealousy in a pure sense or our beautiful son. I killed her because she was my slave and I loved her. I killed her because I could, any god-damned slave owner knows all about that! Yeah, I was in a rage but back here..” He pointed to the back of his head. “Back here I knew I could get away with it. And I did. Her family couldn’t get me. They squeezed me for a few bucks, a sacrifice to the money-god. Whoopee! I had a worldwide following. A lot o’ those fools still have my picture, autographed footballs, centerpiece on the mantle, surrounded by their family, their children. Fans, shit! Bunch of fucking idiots! Even the Conflict didn’t stop them. Oh no, they needed something to believe in. I became their fucking G.I. Joe hero. So I disappeared. I had personal business to attend to. They think I died and there are times I wish to hell I had.”

Hood’s face was soaked with perspiration and tears. He took his shirt by the waist and pulled it over his head. Wulf watched helplessly while he buried his face in the shirt, twisted his head back and forth. He wrung the shirt in his huge hands. Together they watched the drops of his humanity falling on the table. Hood’s lips moved. Metal scratched from the speaker at his throat. “I spent over a year in jail. You can’t imagine the hell it was for Zak and Jenny, Colleen dead and me accused of her murder. Zak and Jenny pretend I’m innocent but they know just like everyone else, especially Jennifer. My best buddy, Mister fucking ‘E’, my great business manager, he took care of them for me real good. When I got out of jail Jennifer had changed, I mean really changed. My little bubble girl, my baby sister, was gone. I knew whose pin had burst all the pretty little bubbles of her happiness, her dreams. I failed her and Zak worse than I failed myself. I tried to help her through it but how in the hell could I? She talked endlessly about Colleen, my dead and gone ex-wife. They were real close. Colleen was like a big sister, a mother figure, to Jennifer. We looked at all the old pictures and videos, even laughed a couple of times, then…”

Wulf’s head came up with a jerk when he heard the first sob. Hood’s head banged against the table and he wept uncontrollably. The microphone squealed madly with unreal gagging sounds, a robot choking on shredded razor wire. Wulf pushed Hood’s shirt under his head and laid a hand on his shoulder His body was wracked with sobs. Hood shrugged Wulf’s hand off violently. “Don’t pity me, please. Sit back down. Save your sympathy for Zak and Jenny. They deserve it.”

Wulf returned quietly to his seat, uncomfortable as hell. He said softly, “Go on then.”

Hood ground his teeth together before touching the metal speaker and continuing his story. When he touched it, the microphone produced a horrific noise, bleeding nails screeching across a chalkboard. “Sorry,” he said, “Damned bad habit, that. Makes the thing feed-back. Me and Jenny were doin’ this therapy thing, helping her through the grief process, me too I guess. There was this one counselor. He was really good, got right into Jenny’s head. Him and the rest of the therapy team thought she was moving right through it, showing a lot of positive progress. But I always felt like there was something else, something deeper, more personal. Jennifer was always so damned strong. Nobody messed with her and got away with it, nobody…”

Hood had begun to shake. He laid both hands flat on the table. The violence of the vibrations threatened to send everything crashing to the floor. Wulf felt the hair on the back of his neck rise up, a reaction to the immense stream of energy, the intensity of menace in the air. Hood growled out between the clenched steel teeth of his microphone. “Then that night. Ah Jesus. I had been out and when I came home. I went to Jenny’s apartment to check on her, to see how she was doing. She was wrapped in white sheets, lying face down on her bed. She looked like an angel, so peaceful, her beautiful hair like fine spun silk.”

His voice was calm now, resigned, a metallic monotone. Hood’s face wore the expression of a man gone empty, having given everything up. “I was carrying a candle. When I bent over to whisper her goodnight, I saw the dark stain on her. A voice inside me screamed over and over, ‘No! No! No!’ I hear it still, that tortured voice. It’s not mine and it’s getting louder. It comes from the closet, from dark sweaty corners. ‘No! No! No!’ I turned her over, terrified, unwilling to take her from the perfect white of the sheets The smell of her blood was on me now. Her hands were shoved down between her legs and there was so much blood there. It was a deep pool, crimson against the sheets. What had she done? What had she done? I was sure she had shoved something into herself. I don’t know why I thought that but I did. I set the candle on the night stand next to the bed and lifted one of her arms. Blood gushed out. I saw it reflected in the candle shadow on the wall. She moaned and relief washed over me in a flood. And fear, raw and searing, burning on the edges. There was so much blood. How could she still be alive?”

“But she was. I lifted her other arm and blood shot from it as well. I used my thumbs to put pressure on her wrists. That stopped the bleeding. I remember being afraid her hands would fall off, the cuts were so deep. I braced them against my face. I was awash in her blood. I saw Colleen there, in all that blood. What had I done? I tore the ends of the sheets to make tourniquets then called my old buddy, Hans. I couldn’t trust anyone at this point. Hans was the only one I could think of to help me. He was a damn fine surgeon. He brought my little sister back to me. Lucky for me, Hans had a good supply of blood down here. He matched her type and went to work. While he was stabilizing her for the trip into the labyrinth I found a note on her desk. It was addressed to me and Colleen, my dead Colleen. She begged our forgiveness but said she could no longer bear the shame and guilt of what had happened between her and ‘E’ while I was in jail. He raped her and raped her and raped her. I know he did. I know it. She wrote that he threatened to impede the funding and support of my trial if she refused to comply with his wishes. She asked that I stay away from him, that he was a bad person. He did nothing, Wulf. It was me. It was all me. I should never have left her with that monster, never!”

There was a long pause while he breathed deeply in an effort to compose himself. Hood stared blankly across the table, into and through Wulf. After a few moments Wulf spoke softly to him. “Never mind the laying of blame. I’ll help you. We’ll work together. ‘E’ will pay for his crime, one way or another.”

Hood’s low, metallic laugh seemed to emanate from somewhere deep beneath them, a tortured sound rising from the earth’s core. “You’re so fucking naive, Wulf! ‘E’ is protected in layers so deep he can hardly be touched. The problem when Jennifer hurt herself was that I couldn’t go after him right away like I wanted to. I had to make my baby sister well and getting even with ‘E’ wasn’t part of the prescription. Hans brought us into the labyrinth and we nursed Jennifer back to health. He had learned some pretty fair psychology concerning rape and death in his treatment of victims of the Conflict. He talked me into putting vengeance on a back burner while we tended to Jenny. She and Zak have had more than their fair share of suffering on my account. Now. I’ve told you why my son and baby sister must come to live in your house. There should be no need to repeat myself. Once they’re settled in and you and I are in agreement or have found a comfortable position of compromise, I’m going after that no-good sonofabitch. You saved his ass this time. Next time he won’t be so lucky!”

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© 2017 artwork, music and words
conceived by and property of
Tom (WordWulf) Sterner 2017 ©~gordian objective~ cover 6x9x72_pe

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Father/Time II

8-29-2017 - Father-Time 2 - X

 

Father/Time
Two

Voices of children
laughter in an empty room
mind chasing echoes
running from the sleep thing
that near ghost of madness
Dollar bills
pennies in a tin cup
tips from strangers
long looks in their eyes
the wagging end
of a slow train click-clacking
midnight wandering past
Wake me up if we get there

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©2017 artwork, music & words
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dream within a dream - 9x9x72 - 10-6-2015 -

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