The Lonely Lighthouse Becomes My Friend

I left the prison that night without the warden’s permission and walked along the beach in the pale moonlight, struggling to keep a good pace, because I weighed 100 pounds heavier, due to the silver bullets and gun I carried.

The thought of being killed in the open wasn’t that bad, because the waves were strangely peaceful and I could follow the lighthouse home, but then I heard blood-curdling howls, and I wished I had stayed within the walls of that prison, like the Children of Israel bemoaning their Exodus from Egypt.

The snarling sounds, were a pack of wolves. They had found my scent. I couldn’t walk into the ocean for fear of drowning and I didn’t have enough ammunition, to kill them all. So, I resigned myself to becoming a monster, like a murderer, who finally finds himself.

But just as I was sure I would see them and be cut down, I found a rowboat moored to the shore, and I prayed I would have enough time to put distance between myself and that unknown terror.

The tide was not in my favor and the beasts came over the hill, with their hair sticking out of their backs like mohawks—eyes ready to kill. I had one hand on an oar and the other on my gun.

BANG

Hair and blood littered the sand, and the dogs went for the wounded one, ripping that squealing mutt to shreds.

Blood smells salty in the sea air and looks black in the moonlight.

One wave and then another, and I was carried away without capsizing.

Then, I was home, and the waves were calm, and the wolves left the shore, as I made my way to the lighthouse.

To be continued…

The beaten cat lives forever because it hunts the human soul.

You have to be Deep

to

dig

Deep,

like a well

that

goes

down

into

your

soul.

Shoveling Souls

is a rare profession

because

it’s an invisible art

like the emperor

with no clothes.

People don’t invest

in what’s not there.

Faith,

Value,

and Dreams

are only dust

scattered by the wind.

The eternal profession is the one I want—

an investment, that never blows away

and like the invisible wind

it must be a force

that moves ships

like a hurricane.

It isn’t enough

to be calm, to be

becalmed.

I must know the power

within

shocking me

with

ideas

that

can’t be seen.

I worship the beaten cat

with ear torn off

hit by a car

and bleeding

inside.

When his organs fail

something

keeps it alive—

a style that smiles at death.

It doesn’t live for approval

or need other cats.

Perhaps, nature has selected it for extinction

because it’s too big to sit-on human laps

it’s not cute

its balls are too big

it doesn’t purr when petted

Children stare at it

in prehistoric picture books

It walks in the moonlight

and the firelight

It walks wherever it wants

It’s valuable, for its diamond eyes

It’s wilder

than anything.

That’s why nature knew it was a contender

and tried to knock it out

in the first round

but it goes the distance, anyway.

How does a cat like that

come back

from a beating like that?

What keeps you alive?

Your heart.

How do you know?

Your mind.

The beaten cat lives forever

because it hunts the human soul.

A Silent Atomic Bomb

Pink Flamingos fly-out of the tall grass

like spears

blotting-out

the sun—

that dome of light, like a silent atomic bomb

rising higher

growing wider.

Airports are full of

ants

on the ground

while airplanes

take-off

bringing sound

to the deadly everglades.

Coffins

move along asphalt highways

more dangerous

than snakes

in the swamps

but we don’t fear

them.

A go-fast boat

slices through the water

like cocaine cut by a knife.

It’s a high

to live this life.

We can’t measure ourselves with money

because it won’t give us style

or teach us to believe

beyond the sunset.

From the darkness, comes my music

and the creation of day.

The power

to say

words

that invigorates nature

like the sun.

We are dancing

with martial arts movements

killing

Gods

of the moment

until they are lost

under still water.

This tired universe

is dreaming

for the rarest breed—

The poet

won’t heed

the law.

He wakes up

with the sun inside himself

and brings warmth

to empty space.

Things that go fast, know what it is.

I am more interested in unsuccessful personalities

than

social butterflies—who love their jobs.

Grandiose men

don’t mingle with flowers—

they arrange symphonies, instead.

I am interested in the insane

because they have permission to be themselves

It repulses me

to watch

humanity, struggling along the freeway, like beetles.

I swing wide

and divide

traffic

in my truck

going down the center lane.

I get into an argument

with my mother

about God—it’s more of the same.

“Power, is in the will of a Person,” I said.

“If you follow God, He will give you Power.”

“But all I see are powerless people

who pray.

Where are the supermen?”

My dad walks in.

“God isn’t a vending machine or Santa Clause,” he said.

“How can I move mountains?

I read self-help books and they say to smile more.”

“Be of use to your employer. Make your boss look good. That’s what I did—and I got a raise.”

“I want to do something with my life

that transcends all of this…”

“Like what?”

“It’s in a painting

or underneath an automobile

that breaks the sound barrier.

Heck, I don’t know where it is

but I have to discover that

inside myself.

It’s in an Apache Helicopter

or a P-51 Mustang

Things that go fast, know what it is.”

Werewolves! And Rows of Silver Bullets…

‘Don’t ask questions, or I will be forced to hold you in contempt—transfer or no transfer,’ the warden said.

I went back to my barracks to load my shotgun. The thought of so much blood on my hands made them shake. I couldn’t go through with it.

Before—I assumed they were murderous lunatics. Now, I wondered…

“What did you do?” Charlie asked.

“Stop interrupting my story,” Bill said. “I wanted to find-out why the warden was worried. It had to do with the end of the month and our psychiatrist dying. He had a PhD in Pharmacology—and he mixed the psychiatric meds, before giving them out. I knew the answer might be in the lab (it usually is, or the library), but I didn’t want to get caught.

I went directly there, adjacent to the morgue. White bell-shaped flowers were everywhere, in vases. They were humming, as if the flowers were full of bees, pollinating.

‘Why was Doctor Jupiter collecting flowers?’ I asked.

Then, I recognized them. Wolfsbane.

I spent most of my time in the prison because the rest of the island was too dangerous to walk across, but I did remember seeing the genus growing among the rocks near the beach.

‘Doctor Jupiter picked flowers outside the wall where the wolves are,’ I muttered.

There was his cook book.

Prehistoric Monsters and their Antidotes.

For rabies, scabies, and lycanthropy.

‘Oh—my God, Werewolves!’

Come to think of it, each prisoner had a wound that wouldn’t heal. The doctor must’ve been bitten, and he turned. Now the drugs had run-out, for the full moon, and there wasn’t time to make the antidote.

I looked into the cupboards, and there was none.

Then, I found a small bottle under the sink. I checked the bodies in the morgue, and sure enough, each one was bitten.

The necrotic flesh was purple, a disgusting color, worse than death.

All I wanted to do, was to get off the island, but there was no boat. The best I could think, was to get to the lighthouse, and wait for the ferry.

That would require a long walk. I did have a shotgun, but that wouldn’t work against werewolves.

Then the thought occurred to me… the warden knows. He must have weapons that work against monsters. I went back up to his office and knocked on his door.

No answer.

Once inside, I walked to his glass gun case and opened the wooden drawer. There were rows of silver bullets.

To be continued…

Gambling like a God

My dad said,

“I was going to buy Microsoft stock when I was 29, but your mother wouldn’t let me.”

“I don’t remember that,” she said.

Well, he never bought the stock.

In high school,

I took risks that were out-of-character

and a girl told me,

“You’re not a risk taker.”

She was wrong.

I depend on my routines

because the world goes around

like beer-drinking golfers

on the course.

Self-knowledge

is dangerous

because

when we figure that out

we see the limits

of our universe.

If you don’t know yourself

you are probably in deep space

and deep shit

The life you choose to live

is as big as you want it to be.

This is how to be free:

walk in faith.

A gambler has to believe…

by trusting his gut

to give up control

and

he wins

or loses

He lets it all go

so he can weigh

his regrets

at the end

of life.

Without any risks

his horse never leaves the start

and it gets fat

with worry

while his jockey

has no use for his jockstrap

and he has to watch the race

in the stands

while he sits down.

If the priest ever tells you

that gambling is a sin

because it has destroyed families

ask him

about the winners.

Men who don’t gamble

never win

and they lose

over, and again

out of fear.

According to psychologists

losing,

far out-weighs

the feeling of winning

but a life without victories

is a god who never uses his power

and isn’t quite sure

if

he is a god.

Before the Full Moon

Our psychiatrist was a queer fellow, and I don’t mean that he liked men—he was obsessed with his patients, studying them at all hours, feeding them drugs like tic tacs. The prisoners had a glazed look in their eyes and their nails grew long and yellow. Their skin hung loosely on their skeletons, like it had been stretched several times, as if they had grown old and reverted back to adolescence.

I didn’t like to look at them. They were like caged animals—men and women with stringy hair and bad teeth, with distorted backbones. It looked worse than spina bifida, and they all walked on the balls of their feet like Autistic children. Our doctor wasn’t making them well, and as the months progressed, even he, looked sicker than usual. I ate the cafeteria food with apprehension.

I kept getting these headaches, but I didn’t want to ask Doctor Jupiter for drugs, because I didn’t want to turn into one of them, but it got so bad at the end of the month, that I complained, and he gave me a Tylenol. He was only a skeleton then, clutching his left arm.

That’s when I saw his blood, seeping through his lab coat.

‘What happened to you?’ I asked.

‘Suzie bit me when we took her to the execution room four months ago. The wound hasn’t healed.’

‘Why was she killed?’

‘Executed,’ Jupiter corrected. He said this like he had swatted a fly. ‘And only the warden knows. This is a maximum-security prison, so the file remains sealed.’

I didn’t like to talk to him, but my curiosity got the better of me. ‘Are the patients, insane?’

‘Prisoners,’ Jupiter corrected. ‘And, you aren’t a doctor, so you don’t need to know.’

‘What about your wound?’ I asked.

‘It’ll heal—in time.’

For some reason, I didn’t believe him, and one day, after he doled-out pills to prisoners, I noticed that he took one himself. What kind of psychiatric drugs was he administering?

Through the iron bars, I could see the empty sea.

When I visited the warden, I intended to get a transfer. I had the feeling, the walls were deteriorating—that whatever kept this place solid, was melting.

‘You don’t receive calls. You don’t write letters,’ the warden said. ‘Why do you want a transfer?’

‘This place doesn’t feel right. I’ve heard rumors…”

‘Like what?’

‘That some of the guards have been executed, along with the prisoners?’

‘Foolish talk.’

‘Why do the prisoners get the death penalty?’

‘Their countries decide. We don’t have anything to do with it. We just house them and dispose of them, as directed.’

‘But what about the guards?’

‘They leave, when they want to.’

He seemed healthy, wearing a green sweater-vest over a red-collared shirt. His blond hair and rosy cheeks made him look like Father Christmas with a military crew cut.

‘Okay. I want off.’

‘I’ll put your paperwork in. I’m sorry to lose a good man.’

That’s when I saw his black phones. Each one, was for a wing of the prison.

The red one didn’t have a label. Then it rang…

‘Yes,’ the warden said through clenched teeth. ‘He died, you say? Okay. Put his body in the morgue.’

‘What is it?’ I asked.

‘Our psychiatrist… is dead.’ The warden’s face looked worried.

‘How will the prisoners get their pills?’ I asked.

‘The end of the month is nearly here. We’ll have to kill everybody. Bill—you just pulled shotgun duty for the next 72 hours. Hopefully, we can execute every prisoner before the full moon.’

‘What?’

To be continued…

Endurance

There is not much that will endure

or will help you to endure, so when you find that

it may have found you.

Many things might make you quit, give up

lose belief

but somehow, if you do them

they stay alive in you

for one more day, at least

like an old photograph

that isn’t tossed away

into a dump.

My aunt has a picture of herself in black and white

from World War 2

Her beauty is undeniable

in that picture.

She’s 95 now

so, she was 23 then

when she claims

a soldier kissed her.

Who knows if that’s true

Now, she makes up everything.

I have a picture like that

where I am a handsome man.

I can see it standing up

looking at me

when I’m 95.

If the morning is young

and the evening is old

I have lived my life well

each day

because I celebrated the sun

and the darkness

was full of mystery.

My Nightmare and My Psychiatrist

“Doc, it was orange!”

“What was orange?” He asked through a mouthful of candy bar.

“The spider. It was huge—almost like a crustacean. And when it saw me, it ran for me, and jumped onto me.”

“What happened then?”

“I shook it off, onto the floor, and threw a desk at it, but it didn’t explode—I only pinned it to the ground. Then I slapped it with a shoe, and its orange guts exploded. Some of it got onto me and burned my skin. What does that mean, doc?”

“It probably means that you ate something you were allergic to last night.”

“I had Haagen Dazs Ice cream with Raspberry Swirl, but that can’t be it.”

“Why not?”

“Because I loved it, and I don’t want to give it up.”

“Was that the end of your dream?”

“No. The spider was morphing into a doll, with sunken black eyes, and it said, “Mamma…mamma.”

“I see.”

“For some reason, I believed I could deactivate the murderous doll from outer-space, but the control panel was at the top of a mountain where it was plugged into stone. I ran up the trail, with the doll chasing me.”

“And then what happened?” My psychiatrist asked.

“I became an alien and the doll led me into her spacecraft.”

“Um, I see. This is stemming from your belief that relationships are artificial and alien to you. Try match.com and avoid eating ice cream before bed.”

“Aren’t you going to prescribe me any drugs?”

“I don’t think you need that. We don’t want to add any chemicals to your over-active mind.”

I have to become a genius before I can proliferate.

“Oh, you’re a writer and you work with kids and you’re single—perhaps, you would like to watch our kids?”

Young married couples with children are desperate

They are itching to be alone, but nobody can scratch that itch but me.

I don’t like to scratch other people

It gives me no satisfaction

I hope the right chemicals fill my brain

when I have kids

so I don’t leave them in a ditch somewhere

in pursuit of what I love most:

solitude.

There is a reason why I’m not married.

She will have to let me scratch myself

and there are not many women

who will allow this.

I have been on the search

for some time,

trying to discover who I am

in relation to humanity.

I love kids

I would like a big mansion

in the wilderness

with a harem of women

and 1000 children

running free

in the fields

all screaming my name,

“daddy”

with butterflies in their hair

while I type grand works of fiction

and win Nobel Prizes.

Unfortunately,

most men

live in tiny houses

with big women

who run their lives

like a fast-food restaurant.

The children can’t look up to their father

because he is an ant

and the mother

might squash him

at any moment.

So, I have to become a genius

before I can proliferate.