BULWARK

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175

Empty like the dawn. The news channel plays static in my region. Ghosts haunt this apartment wearing masks of old lovers in order to taunt me. The telephone screams and the toaster purposely burns my bread. Sullied like thy father whose art is in heaven, leading me hot into Perdition, chained and whipped by forces of my own undoing. Gentle be thy name until I am called at midnight to visit the homes of the stars. Everyone of them shooting for a living, making stories of redemption and compassion while they condemn their workers to a hell on earth. Overt your eyes, dear servant, for nothing good comes of intimacy just pain and hang overs and the search for meaning in the nothingness of this bottomless well. Arise you cripples and walk, proud-like, James Arness-like, from this Holocaust we called home.
Beyond this space is the room nobody lives in. I have glimpsed pictures of it in a magazine in the days when such things mattered. Whatever happened to the Kinks and their sibling hatred as I darn my socks before throwing them out. All things must be mended before they are discarded says the good book but I have lost my place.
I watch movies of dead people acting happy in front of painted sets, their witty dialogue an offence before God.
People who are friends push past on their way to talk to those who hate them. Their name must’ve been in the paper this week and one senses they should know where “it’s all happening.”
I’m not sure Tonto was happy.
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend sings Marilyn but she smiles as though she knows the truth about the Kennedys. She was always a smart girl, it’s there in her eyes.
I have been plotting my demise for some time now but can’t find the right door. Perhaps Tuesday.
Gladiators are felled by bad luck and a chip on their shoulders. Sometimes in the morning mist it is possible to see clearly.
The sea has risen around my island and although I find the view pleasing, the water is cold.
(c) Frank Howson 2014

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Frank Howson

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