Black Orpheus: Hearts of Glass

Distant sigh of the wind and highway
cold through cracks on winter morn.
The dark of absent light and sun,
the stars that hug the horizon tight.
Ashes and cotton balls cling to lazy eyes;
flurries and dust thick on dry lashes.
The truth is laid before our heavy hearts.
The body is tired, it is rebelling against
the gluttonous need. It is fighting
the winter spirit. It is hoping for truth,
but instead plagues the host with
sickening disease. It is thick on
the glass. It is blackened and
burned, a stain forgiven by the
washing of hands and scraping
of shards. The rushing cadence
the heart resolves to, the hollow
electricity coursing through nerves,
the eyes awake and lucid. The perceptions
of the guilty shadow the innocent, the light
of truth futile to the cover of the past.
The future brings slick streets,
constipated morals, late nights and
early mornings. Chilled daylight masks
itself in a crystalline kaleidoscope of
glitter and mirrors. The pupils dilate.
Flies run through the blood. Fatigued
as aging tree bark, the spirit is
cracked and rigid. The lines
deepen, a black sleep that consumes
the eyes and flesh, and ignorance
blesses each chilled hush that creeps
inside our hearts of glass.

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Indecencies Of The Sun

There was a vague sadness clinging to the stiff morning air. It wasn’t cool, but it should have been. It should have chilled his bones. It should have bitten his fingers so harsh they force retreat to stave off the pain and rigidity. The sun had risen, the golden light swelling across the horizon. The effervescent light refracted in his eyes, caused rainbows and geometry to flash before him. They reminded him of the ghosts he’d lived with. The sullen guilt and shame he’d summoned long ago. He thought about the mystic’s gentle words that sung to him about enlightenment. How she synced with his life back then and recited the hidden wisdoms that mocked him. That ultimately paralyzed him. The ghosts were beautiful. Prismatic diamond white, rainbow sheen. Faint and fleeting.

Fuck the sun.

The ocean glimmered before him. The whitening light glistening off crest and crease. He came here before, the point where sky met water. It had become a ritual, an annual retreat he attended. He wasn’t the first, but he carried it on diligently. It was a segment of his personal history he’d hold dear. Summoning the sun on Christmas morning. Watching with the light. He never found himself to be esoteric, but he knew he thought differently. He found himself surrounded by people different in their own way, their perspectives waited and respected. Sometimes insecurity welled up, but he pushed through it with a pretentious confidence. Sometimes it was laughable. But that’s where he found his strength to push past it. He found himself alone on the beach, encircled in a private bubble, a round of energy that isolated him from everything in the universe. Alone. He listened to the silence. Not even the rush of waves penetrated the sphere. He felt the warmth of the sun. The light unavoidable. It comforted and pacified.

This would probably be the last time he went. A decade of returns in observance of the sun. It rose in the west on these shores. He never understood the mechanics of it, but such was the perception held by all. There was something backwards about the beach, and the dirty water it held. He looked at the ripples as they curved and crashed into the sea wall. He listened to the splash and slosh of the water. The sounds of the beach returned. The sea gulls repetitive call, a breeze blowing in his ears, the distance static of ocean waves. The voice of friends.

“Are you done, Nev?” the voice was calm. Nev glanced to the side, his face remained forward.

“Do you want me to be?” he felt a spark of rebellion in him.

“Do you always have to challenge?” The voice peaked a bit. It caught Nev’s attention. He grinned subtly.

“There’s something different this year,” he started, but his voice trailed off. He turned to his friend whom had entered Nev’s protective bubble.

“Everything is changing, Neville. We’ve done what we came to do.”

“You know how I told you where I was. You know, in the grand scheme of things?”

“Step seven.”

“Yeah. There’s gonna be at least one more.”

“I’d certainly hope so.” Neville’s friend paused and added, “but you know we’re safe for now.”

Neville stared out to the ocean again. He became mesmerized by the glistening light that danced on its surface. For miles a field of electric light dazzled across the horizon. It illuminated specters across his face more radiant that the sunlight. The warm winter settled distinguished from the others, a mark of something different for the future he had planned. The visions and paranoia dreamed up by the many had fallen away, the fears of the masses buried with the old world separate from the new.

 

 

Only Dictators Win the Lottery and Have Private Planes

The following is an excerpt from my novel, The Distance To The End. This excerpt comes from chapter 2, I believe. However, in the final revision, a nice chunk was edited out. I initially included it because I thought it important to convey a specific aspect of Nick’s character. But the content slowed the read, an unnecessary speed bump, as it were. So, I guess this piece qualifies as a deleted scene. The Distance To The End was published in 2016; for more information, click the “Books” tab at the top of the page. In the meantime, enjoy a glimpse into what never was, but may have been…

 

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Neville had always told me that he pictured himself from a very young age as the type of individual who was very successful and powerful. He dreamed big. He said at the age of five instead of playing Ninja Turtles with his friends, he was El Capitan, the commander of a vast army, busting down the doors of citizens and exerting his force. Fortunately, Neville had no military experience and probably never would. There were other things about his aspirations that were more humble, opening a business or something that would generate net worth or fame, or both. What he hadn’t told me, as he explained on the way to a private airfield, was that he had won the lottery. I was stoked for him, and could certainly understand why they had insisted on paying for the trip. A private airplane was something he always wanted, and flying from western California to Las Vegas was a quick trip by plane. Neville was ebullient. We could drink and just relax. Neville also knew, as well as Raoul and Gladys, that to fly, this would be my preference: private and not having to deal with the hoopla of current airport security. That’s right, we live in the year 2012 and security is the fad with politicians and big government, and let’s not be bashful, because the TSA workers weren’t with their groping and touching. I didn’t prefer to fly publicly because of the goons who ironically cop out on their own rights by violating others. The TSA, the “Traveler’s Security Agency,” a security agency contracted by the government are responsible for running security checks at airports. Some argue, they are just doing their job being part of the TSA and so one cannot really blame them. They are people just like you and me. And I never denied that. These are well meaning people, just trying to make ends meet one way or another, but it is also important then, that these people understand basic rights and, like diligent military folk, uphold their oaths and not infringe on the rights of others, regardless of chain of command or bureaucracy or paycheck. Of course, it’s a job, so I guess it’s not the same. And, of course, I had friends and associates who did not care either way. Members of my family, for example, were adamant they didn’t mind being felt up or microwaved in a big DNA microwaver. In fact, they insisted the radiation was healthy for them in a joking manner, and that they loved their healthy green glow, or that it staved off cancer. What was unfortunate was all the unknowing TSA employees who were constantly exposed to the radiation of their own machines.

Gladys had had her own run in with the TSA. They were actually in the process of filing suit against the agency. Gladys is claiming charges of sexual harassment, among a few other charges. She’s really going for the jugular on this one. Gladys is quite happy with the private plane.

We landed smoothly, buzzed off a bottle of champagne Neville had been saving for his plane’s maiden voyage. He was tempted to smash it along the side, but we had convinced him to drink it instead. Flying into Las Vegas was fun. The run of homes and retail centers all leading to the strip of new hotels and casinos, all tiny little boxes growing, growing till lavishness and verbosity, elegance and grandeur are the order. My heart smiled as the wheels touched down and we bounced ever so slightly in Neville’s nondescript personal plane, and the personal pilot, like all personal pilots in the imaginations of all, cleared us to exit, opened the hatch, and dropped the stairs. Neville stood at the top, a wily prince with an empty glass of champagne.

“Now that’s how I arrive!” he screamed and threw down his glass, it shattering on the concrete. He stepped down; we all followed. The captain opened a hatch on the back and began to unload our luggage. Raoul smiled. The sky was blue and the sun was bright, a stiff breeze carried the heat away and cooled the tarmac.

 


thedistancetotheend-med

The Distance To The End is available now. Order it at your favorite bookstore, or purchase it online by clicking on this link: https://www.amazon.com/Distance-End-Michael-Aaron-Casares/dp/0692667830

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