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Even In Death

 

Welcome to The Root of Many Returns, the legacy website of author Michael Aaron Casares.  Here, readers are invited to review dozens of works including poetry, fiction, and more. Gain insights into writing and other issues in Michael’s blog. Be sure to like and share your favorite pieces. Offer feedback in the comments. And come back often because we’ll have new stuff to read, and the website will continue updating.

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Midnight Clouds

Mercy Street forlorn in the morning clouds.
The eyes heavy in retreat, eclipse its own vision,
iris shaking, pupil fat. The fog clings low to the
ground, the feigned winter breeze of an ill-fit
New Year and Holiday Season, all but elements
and figments of a present now passed.

Random auditory notes, celestial to organic
ooze softly through the dim blue, the prism
cast even through the multicolor Christmas
tree that stands proudly, defiant of the cycle
consumerism has set. Another buzz on the
silenced phone reminds of the artificial means
of contact: perpetuated, advanced, and liberating,
but also enslaving.

Days have passed with but a blink in time
to rest. The blackness usurps fastidiously,
a deep vacuum one hears as life vanishes
down the funnel. Falling apart. Piecing
into bits, a shred in time, a shred of time,
elapsed into a memory, the spectrum
disintegrates as static, a multicolor fuzz
established in the night. A waft of fog
streamlined like a feather, but hazy like
cotton, fills the empty space of ground,
and we the people have receded. We have
shriveled into our shells and tents. We
have succumbed to the very nature of the
beast. That is to say, our spirits are filled
with goodwill, and the actors’ pernicious
glare, stares only at the jugular.

Flesh on flesh rubs raw, hours into  love making.
The unnatural cause of a ludicrous effect, the winds
of Jupiter could not stop it. It would seal it in a glass
bowl of constant paranoia and awareness of every
move. The silent creep around the corner has eyes
one only seen at night, and the steps so carefully placed
are chosen to strike cords of discontentment as clash
decision and discernment. Faith within the huddled
space, the flames and torches light the way. The incense
waft precarious, sanctifies the base. Allows those lost
in light, the lovers late and lazy, the lonesome and the
loathsome, the legion watching many, to emote a ranc
sulpheric steam. The garbage, manure, rotten and
deceased to plague the pristine strands of fair incense,
storm clouds on the horizon. A quiet flash, a sexual pulse,
discretion is out the door. A hum electric in the veins a fizz
and pop, a clearing of the sitting soul, a buzz that rides the
very bone, opens eyes into the inner core, rewrites the brain
the mind now wired to the world. 

 

“Midnight Clouds” is written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved. 

 

COMING SOON: The Vanishing Poet, a collection by Michael Aaron Casares. 

 

 

 

Job Fair

I stood around, pacing,
watching a multitude of kids,
my age or younger, herd through
stalls of opportunity.
They are all here to find a job,
a career deserving of their certificates
and claim to knowledge.
They’ll all go off
to big corporations,
making higher figures
than I ever did at my first,
second and third jobs.
But that’s what they’re
trained for, that’s why they
live, to exist as part of
a system necessary for a life
they’ve been taught to desire.
Sure, people who pay more
for education should get
paid more to work—that’s
the rationale they are born
with. Never mind the love
affair or the need to live
as you please. There’s
money to be made.

 

“Job Fair” is written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved. 

 

 

Adjusting The Blossom

Good evening dear readers,

I sit in front of my computer on a rainy December midnight. Freshly the 27th of December, I thought I’d drop a note on reblogging “In The Eye of The Blossom,” a haiku triptych I shared last month on the blog. But first, I also want to say thank you to the readers and bloggers that have joined The Root of Many Returns. Feel free to leave comments, like, share, or reblog. You can also get more involved by joining my Patreon account, or purchase any of my books.

So, speaking of reblogging, I shared this haiku again because upon reviewing my site, I realized that the triptych was mangled. See the snapshot depicted here:

 

TROMR-BP2
Capture of the original posting of “In The Eye of the Blossom” on The Root of Many Returns.

 

Readers were kind enough not to call me on it, and four bloggers kind enough to like it. Thanks for the faith, dear readers. Certainly you’ve seen I can handle my haiku. This was merely a formatting error. In my need for perfection, I’ve reblogged the corrected edition. Of course, in humility’s need for dominance, even the reblog’s formatting was mottled. But if you click on the original link, the triptych is pristine. I encourage you to take a gander, if not through the reblog, through this link:

https://therootofmanyreturns.com/2018/11/09/in-the-eye-of-the-blossom-a-triptych-of-haiku/

Haiku, as per tradition, always requires specific formatting. Hopefully the original version was not seen as a challenge to what we know and hold dear. Or didn’t make me seem like an illiterate fool. Ha ha. The triptych in particular is my favorite version of the haiku, where the meaning and the essence carries through a triad of traditional haiku. Anyway, I hope you enjoy. I will continue to share both versions of haiku, and we’ll see where I go with this mode. I hope your holidays have been well. Best regards.

 

Michael Aaron

 

thedistancetotheend-med

 

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Faery Hill – Part Five

I gazed at the skyline, hypnotized by its dim outline against the darkening gray-purple sky. The orange had faded near a horizon I could not see. I could make out the rough edges of each edifice, the precise architecture of each construction, but as I gazed at them, the buildings began to mesh into each other. They began to soften and their color deepen until eventually they were spires of verdant knolls. I’d never seen such a thing. The sky settled to a deep midnight cerulean, speckled with stars. The streets had changed, too. They’d become darkened dirt roads, compressed and chilled, mud lined with lush and thick grass, tailored  and groomed neatly. I could not see well in the dim night, but torches lined the street all the way to Faery Hill. I continued on, trying not to limp. I felt my strength leaving my legs and arms. The torches lit the way, but every few minutes, a glowing light would flutter by, sparkling whispers and luminescence casted around it. The lights flew by in pinks and greens, purples and blues and zipped into the air, climbing and dodging between the verdant knolls and hills. This profound hallucination was so immaculate, I felt myself short of breath, and I felt my heart start to race again. The drug had grabbed a hold of me. I stopped. I had to shake it off. I had never had a bad trip on the drug before, but I’d also never been so immersed in a delusion before. I rubbed my eyes and blinked repeatedly. The green spires and towering column knolls had vanished, and in their place, the same tired buildings that populated downtown. The fire torches were gone, too, and once again were street lights. There were no neon fire flies zipping by, only the somber darkness of a sky muted by dull city lights and reticence. Everything I’d seen before vanished to normalcy. I slouched my way up the road. A car or two passed by. I was already in downtown proper again, and on the streets of Faery Hill. The stores and restaurants were lit for the evening, and the bars had all come to life. Traffic would be substantially less on the highways now, a steady flow. Here on the streets, though, traffic was picking up again. The late dinner crowd was arriving for the bars and the restaurants. Some of the shops would close soon. The workers and the consumers of the world were changing guard for the night.

My proprietors lived off Fourth in a corner of Faery Hill not many traveled. It was dingy and dirty, and just beyond their complex was a construction site and dirt hills. It was not an attractive spot and only homeless, cruisers, and drug users occupied its shadows and corners. The complex rounded the street and was a literal dead end where thru traffic was concerned. My sellers were quiet, but cordial. Two guys were all I ever saw. I supposed they were lovers, but, to be honest, I didn’t even know if they were gay. They were both very attractive so I gathered, even if they weren’t gay, they were gay. I notified them of my arrival via text while I walked. They were cool with me stopping in. The entrance was to the left of the building, on the far side of the street from where I was coming. I had composed since leaving The Catalan, but I’d used all my paper towels and was afraid of what would happen if I started to bleed again. I guess if it were a drug related symptom, they would know.

As I approached their door, I felt another wave creeping up on me. It was like gravity was prickling the back of my skull, persuading me, coaxing me to reel back into a delusion. I stood in front of the door, wanting to knock, but also wanting this feeling to wash away. I steadied my eyes as I watched sparkling white lights slowly float from my peripherals forward. Then, a blue glowing spot fluttered by with a slight buzz. The door reflected the blue. I looked up, panicked. The door stood, the only remnant I recognized of my world. It was the entrance to the deep green, leafy mound that stood before me, and towering green spires surrounding it. The door opened and a hand seized my arm and pulled me forward. I gasped, uttering a brief shock. I was ushered in by a pair of hands that pulled and pushed at me urgently.

“Get in,” a voice said. I didn’t see anybody until the door was closed. A soft purple light turned on and I knew immediately I was in the anteroom of my proprietors.

“I—,” I began to speak, but I stammered instead.

“Don’t talk. It’s okay.” I felt his hands on my shoulders. His grasp had gentled, I supposed because I exhibited some sort of coherence. I wonder how bad I looked.

“You are much farther along than we’d expected.”

Wait. What?  We walked forward. The halls were nice, elegant with crown molding and carved wooden paneling that was bisected by stone white walls. The details were almost lost in the purple light. I still did not see my counterpart.

“You’ve been using haven’t you? We could tell the moment you walked up to the door. The energy was magnificent.”

“What are you talking about?”

“The Faery Dust. The drug you’ve been peddling for us.” My head began to spin. So this was the drug’s name. It made sense. I coulda’ figured that out myself, I guess. I was somewhat relieved my seller understood what was going on with me, because that meant that he could possibly help me, and at the same time, there was something that didn’t sit well with me. It was a strange energy. We continued down the hall, the light had begun to taper off, and color re-emerged as a torch lit the hall, casting shadows that fought with the already dim hues. At last I saw him. He was standing next to me, his hair long and fawnish; his jawline was strong but delicate; his lips regal, yet inviting, his body boyish, but firm. I couldn’t explain it.

“We’d like to thank you for the excellent job you’ve done. You were doing so well.” Finality was in his tone. I wondered where he was taking me as he ushered me through a door. This is where we usually did business. I had a moment of clarity as the drug receded. I could feel the marks on my face like ghost lines. My ears had started to hurt.

“You see, Alex. There is a certainty for those who enjoy partaking in Faery Dust. It changes you.”

“What are you talking about? You mean there’s side effects? What, what kind of damage does it do?”

“It changes you.” Before I’d realized it, there was some type of cuffs around my wrists. My heart jumped.

“Hey!” I screamed at him, but the effort only made me woozy. “What are you doing?”

“Faery Dust is a very important substance to us, Alex. And in order for us to keep it in production, certain actions must be taken. Its users, for instance eventually become its manufacturers.” My dealer walked forward, standing in front of me. There was something different about him. His skin seemed soft, his ears were like mine, long and pointed. He looked like a fairy from children’s books.

“I don’t understand what you mean.”

He walked forward, a ghost in the dim room. He looked me in the eyes, his gaze met mine and I saw a veneer of gloss that sparkled deep in his irises. His pupils were bottomless pits. He huffed acutely. Thin flaps of flesh, three on each cheek lifted on his face like gills, and flapped down. My heart sank as the marks reminded me of mine.

“The drug changes you, Alex.”

A giant luminescence expanded from his eyes. It began blue and purple and brightened to white, becoming a brilliant star that surrounded me. It was warm and blanketed my body. Shadows began to thin and disappear. The details of the room and my proprietor in front of me gone, everything vanished in the light.

 

“Faery Hill” is written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved. Short fiction, part five of five. 

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