SCRIBBLING AND BIBBLING
writings essays poetry
Today was a good day,
opened with her rolling over;
…soft snores pitter pattering.
…somewhere out there.
Suspended in the grey,
churned in everywhen’s entropy;
…and I just rolled over.
around the time we counted the past.
Old ways stitching fresh neural webs;
and Neurons make for good silk.
E IS FOR EMPATHY
Toiling. Long...slow...toiling; up toward light and air I find my condition. Arduous and painful. My body, taut against so many humans, who claw and clamor for its own sanctity. This filth, wrought by humans and only by humans to undo, has no bottom, no walls to cling or shimmy. A wallowing pit with a summit far too high to touch. I hold no kin, no ally to assist in this fucking climb. It is I and only I. You and only you. All and that is all.
My vigor (and yours) gains its might only through what limits our constitution, that and what any body can hoist you (or I) a bit towards that shining cliff. To my right, sounds of drowning as a child’s mouth anchors a man’s palm for gains of just an inch. It is so thick, this mud. Hot, humid and noxious. I try, truly try to push this child away, but my arm was just a branch for a woman waiting for an opportunity to climb. I hiss in pain, as talons, gripping for footing, sink into my worn back. What world is this? This horrid, putrid domain, abundant with vast amounts of panic and missing any iota of joy?
“No! Stop! Don’t do this!” I thought a man said four humans down. Sounds of his skull caving from wanton fists was working its way up through all that sloshing and struggling and I could do nothing but worry about moving upward.
I took a risk to think about this shit and its origins amidst all that biting and dragging. How? How in all of man’s history, did our slow migration into “civilization” pass into shadows of malignant moral rot? Was it not said that our path was to fix our past’s fuck ups? To right wrongs from ignorant kin of now moot days? Our kind was to catapult us into a magnanimous utopia that would stamp out sins of old. But no. Humans will and still kill. Not a jot for why. Skin color too dark? Kill it. Hold passions for similar kind? Kill it. Rob from this, to fill that’s account. It is “good” so long as Profit can soar and hold dominion on its sky. Humans will not fail to stamp away individuality for country, almighty dollar, god or any variation you can fathom. Crush imagination if its not suiting a status quo for it is that which has all sway. It is only man who will say a “good” thing, just to commit to a malicious act. Ah! and do not allow our most darling sin to roam with impunity: inaction. That fatal atrocity and patron saint of iniquity. Our affinity to say or do nothing. Almost instantly.
Abandon pity. Abandon any notion of kinship, you who is cast down to swim this disgusting pit. Solidarity is for kings, and you won’t find any such royalty in this ditch of black pitch. No, this monarch’s dominion is upholding a philosophy of “I hold my own” without so much as an inkling of a damn shown to any man woman, or child. Mankind will coward if his soul has a drop of valor to cool its insipid mouth. I don’t think that if it works its right but I do know that if its right it works. How can I possibly swallow and you lay hungry?
I thought Sisyphus was a fool. Rolling that stupid rock up that damn mountain until this world cracks. Damn any god who would punish utilization of our minds as hubris (I do not disavow all that blood on his hands though) Through his works, man had known immortality. So what if this is his condition now? No amount of divinity can strip his victory. But today I now know through his triumph against gods (old and ongoing) that dumb rock is a symbol of his joy. That man will push and push, thumbing at that cast of “moral” charlatans. As a woman pins my arms to gain an inch, I look to him and grin. And so I push, digging with my dirty nails, pushing through muck, shit and skin.
A draft of hot air from “gracious” oligarchs, capitalists, authoritarians, dictators, aristocrats and all that molds to that group of ignorant cohorts on high: drips through cracks, down and within this void of man. It won’t touch anything in that dark chasm. Who will stop and aid his kin? Is it not all of man that brought on this calamity? No, that basin must drown on slick, sour, and oily blood; and it is from that doom, man must nourish from it. It soaks right through my skin, a stain akin to Original Sin. And as you and I who claw upward, with our spirit’s wrists bound in damnation;
so too must that black bottom fight towards this summit. Gnawing jaws and all; cut off from any aid and far away from fair.
I squirm an inch, just so my ribs turn to stairs for a human I am blind to. I pull at a woman’s calf, only for this man to kick my mouth in. I spit blood and push on. Tight. So tight. Why? Ah! Humans piling, pushing down as I push up. So tight. I cannot burst out. Claustrophobia kicks in and my lungs start to burn. I cannot burst out. Arms, shins, hands, skulls, all rob my sight. Taut knots of humans. I cannot burst out. Panic now winds my limbs as I try so hard for that summit. I ccannot burst out! Moans of agony swirl akin to old spirituals but not to uplift. That law of gold is as good as that sympathy passing down from up high. But a crack of light slips through. I push and pull, grab and drag. And still, I cannot burst out. My body stops, I can’t go on. Not now. My spirit is too frail. I think of Sisyphus as I sag down, back to that point at which I had to start. Who will stop and aid his kin? I cannot burst out. I am drowning...
The American Dream,
Toxic partner, tell me
Those sweet nothings you used to say
All men created equal (without the asterick)
And the rest of us exist in that middle empty space between the words.
Obvious as a wink.
And here they come: starrrr spangled eagles! (Made in China).
Watch white shadows swoop against the city on a hill! And
“Built Ford Tough” beaks crack and bleeding: rhetoric red.
Kira’s torn sweater stopped the bleeding, but not the infection. The patient thud of the closing door was what finally grabbed her attention. Dad had come back from recon with his head swinging low; ghosts of hope, still haunting his eyes. Their salvation was in a small town just over the river and would have been an easy dash had it not been for the fifty or so zombies swelling outside the boathouse. Their clawing and screaming stretched all the way up to the attic where the family of three was hiding. Over in the corner, Mom, stared out sunken-eyed. Today was her tenth silent day since the gnashers took Matt; if anyone was still counting.
“Why do they all have to sound like chopping greens?” Kira asked over the grumblings of her hunger pangs. Her dad shook his head, forcing a smirk and rubbed a finger in his exhausted eyes. If Kira wasn’t careful, the light would make him look like one of them. The floor groaned against his booming boots as he made his way over to mom and squatted. He reached in his pocket and extracted the small purple crystal in his hand. Dad shook his head, warding off his daughter’s scowl.
“The answer is still no,” he said flatly and lifted the crystal to Mom’s head; making his stand in his ongoing war with his daughter’s incessant skepticism. She would huff and puff (like she always did), her angsty teen-anger shaking her like she was cold and then she’d let it go. Until she was overdue for another one of her “spells” again. Dad understood her desperation, hell he empathized with it. And her plan was simple: distract the dead fuckers long enough to hop in that row boat and cross the river to town. And yeah, they’d be safe from the undead, but he knew, they’d only get asylum if his family surrendered to the government’s “vaccine”. And that was not gonna happen, dead or alive.
“We’ll die if we don’t!” Kira pleaded, absent mindedly rubbing where her sweater was tied. She still hadn’t told him. She refused to end up like Matt. Dad waved the stupid rock over Mom’s face, closing his eyes, humming while he “worked”. Kira knew he was ignoring her and hated him for pretending he was “connecting.” How he convinced himself the “aura” from rocks healed all wounds was childish, and she was the fifteen-year-old. Kira could not fight back another shiver, the cold was getting too vindictive and was already numbing her body; especially where her sweater was knotted. Kira looked at her mom and dad once more, trying to see the parents who always had the answer, the self-proclaimed “free thinkers” who now are just as brainless as the dead things banging outside. No, she wasn’t going to be like them.
It was nearly sunrise when she made her move. Exhaustion had finally claimed Dad, and these days Mom was never really awake. Kira tiptoed barefoot to the door and slipped through, avoiding the squeal if it opened too far. The boathouse was dead silent below, but she could still smell them: like rotting pork chops fermenting in the fridge. Luckily, the dead had meandered back to the platform giving her the smallest of windows so long as she kept her footsteps quiet. They heard Dad’s pommeling flat feet though. Kira shot for the boat, trying her damnest to block out the crescendo of wet chomping and the sound of Dad’s gun cocking. Not like Matt. Wondering if she actually felt his bullet miss, Kira rowed for her life, Dad’s howls chasing after her. The cold was angry now and her arms gave out as the town came into view; the overcast sky, sheet white.
Eric is an artist living in Delaware. Featured in “100Lit” Podcast and poetry appearing in Castle of Our Skins, “Black Poet Miniature Challenge”; Eric’s work explores cosmology, race, politics, introspection and relationships through poetry, essays, speculative fiction, and photography.