The First ManThe snow hasn’t melted for six years now. Until one recent morning, I hadn’t seen any sign of another living soul in months.It was a gangly looking figure, struggling through the snowdrifts. I wouldn’t have even seen it had I not gone up to dig out the second bunker for supplies. Making sure I could find my way back with the radio positioner, I decided to follow it. The last time I had met someone out here, I’d had a lover for several days. Perhaps I would be so fortunate again.On skis I quickly caught up to the walker. She was in her forties, with the thousand-yard-stare of a permanent wanderer looking out from her balaclava. I asked her to come to my bunker for a while.“I can’t. Not without him.” She pointed ahead.Once again, in flurrying snow was a human form, trudging along, obviously wearing snowshoes. So I sped along to this person, my heart bouncing around in my chest. Two people! Two people in one day! I thought of the great meals w
DroppedAn alien who insisted his given name was Gilgamesh gave me a time machine the other day. It was a little yellow egg, no larger than my fist, adorned with near-microscopic depictions of battles and ancient space monsters and other fascinating fantasies.First I used it to go back a week, just to see if it really worked, to order a grilled cheese at this restaurant where I had originally bought a burger. I avoided indigestion, but my head started to hurt when I realized my past self was nowhere to be found.I went to my own birth and couldn’t find my parents at the hospital. It turned out they were at home, my mother quite skinny and beautiful, not haggard and heavily pregnant as dusty photographs had led me to believe. They were very nice people back then. I wonder why they ever evolved to be so malicious later on.I no longer existed, except as a strange and hazy figure out of place. But when I returned to the present, nothing had changed. My girlfriend hadn’t even noticed
InterrogationThree days of rain had come to an end; Jeff Kuhn's boots squelched in the grass of a backyard on the north end. He paused a moment when the porch light sensed he and Talobor Pavlevic's movement. Talobor, who they called "Ludilo" behind his back, was an enormous man with a square head and a broad chest, the typical Bosnian track-suit wearing gangster. Jeff hated the nine-mil toting psychopath.Clear sky, blinking aircraft lights motoring between the stars. It was a good night for a fire, like a family down the street. A good night to go to the trailer park and find a party, or maybe head to the bar with dad and patch things up. Instead he and Talobor were out to solve the mystery of who put two bullets in Andre's brain. And somehow he had to find evidence that pointed anywhere but at himself.This was one of those nights he desperately wished for a regular job.Talobor made a face that told Jeff to get moving, so he did. The way up and across the porch Kuhn thought angrily, eat shit.
4242: Fundamental LawsHeld in place by enormous steel couplers, the General Esteban Navarro dwarfed every explorer, medical transport, and freight slinger on the station docks. It was big enough, Ramon Galvez figured looking up at its nose from a port bar, that oncoming traffic could see it from a thousand miles away. He puffed on a cigarette and drank overpriced beer from one of those odd hourglass pints that were so popular in these places.It was a hell of a ship, yessir. A little less than a kilometer long, though to be fair most of that length was made up by the strange matter drive. Bristling with laser cannons and rail guns and missile launchers and mine layers that weren't a hell of a lot of use unless you had somewhere real nice to hide. Ramon stubbed out his smoke in the ashtray, with more force than he intended.The strange character who sat across the table noted Ramon's frustration. A tall, rugged human in his forties, the man had sat watching the Navarro's captain wordlessly and with obvious a
Two AM, At A PlaygroundThe streets all slick with rain reminded him of a hazy digital painting, the lights in their puddles formed with exaggerated, unpolished brush strokes. A half-dozen men and women in front of the bar, all lit up by the big white light hanging over the bouncer, formed the only distinct part of the scene. He wished he knew how to paint the things he saw.Standing beneath a playground, he looked miserable and out of place. The loaded revolver in his right hand looked more like a child's toy in this setting. What a place for a skid bar like that, he thought, just across the street from an elementary school. Tomorrow if all went as planned the kids who played on these swings and platforms would be stuck behind yellow tape, their vacation place home to grisly murder.Murder as committed by Jeff Kuhn, a man who played the part of a lost high school graduate far better than that of a hitman.Nearly ten to two. The greasy biker son of a bitch would be coming out any minute, dragged drunkenly alo
Early WinterDeath drives a green Packard. Depression era, with modern bumper stickers and parking tickets which, if you look closely, were written out by Hammurabi. I met him once, he’d pulled up outside my house and hopped out for a smoke break on the street. He looked like he didn’t have anything to do when, far as I know, somebody dies once every few seconds, somewhere. I went outside and asked him who he was after."You. But not for a while. Y’know Arnold Rothstein got shot just three blocks from here?""I thought he was killed in New York. Definitely in America.""Who you gonna believe?"Death flicked his smoke to the asphalt and crushed it with a casual twist of his purple dress shoe. Then he drove off, leaving me feeling a little melancholy and a little drained. Never could get the hang of snow in October.
HelenaFlames cross the horizon on stilts of cast iron. Hot winds gust from seams in the earth. An old man babbles about salvation. There is no business here. No dreams. No illusions. What was is long lost and the remnants are not memories, they are daggers through the soul.Repentance is for the weak, I said. Well, the old girl is sure to bleed my resolve.
Late to the PartyAt quarter-past one AM, dispatch sent me a noise complaint in Somerton Tower, a ritzy place four blocks south of Granville Street. Every so often I'd receive this sort of call, and head up to some obnoxious cocktail party attended by thirty or forty upper class men and women listening to pounding electronic music. This one was different though; there was some suspicion of domestic violence.I pulled up to the sidewalk out front and hopped out of my cruiser. It was Friday night--little packs of young people stumbled along on their way to the bars and nightclubs of Granville, or to underground shows to see some of the hundreds of death metal bands. Most of them became instantly nervous around the sight of white and blue, and even more so when the red stripes on my pants told them I was RCMP.They weren't in any danger. A cop in Vancouver who wants to bust everyone with more than an ounce of weed in their pocket or a couple ecstasy tablets is a very, very busy fool. I craned my head to lo
The Day of the Falling SkySand fell through the earth, invisible and intangible. In every corner of the world, confused and uneasy people listened to its strange sound, like white noise on a television cranked up just a little too loud. Very few of us understood what this heralded: the vanguard of our new masters was near, and humanity was soon to suffer the agony of enslavement under crazed despots. I had to spare my wife and son the misery.When I first heard the Sand, my team was in Hawaii, scouring a beach covered in a strange sort of mass suicide: thousands of dolphins and sharks had washed up on the shore days earlier. Voluntarily, in a mass migration we had surveyed from above as it happened, without concern for the prey they passed up, the creatures of the deep sea threw themselves onto dry land and died. I was walking alongside an associate, Dr. Ehlers, both of us clad in MOPP suits, carrying cases of tissue samples.For a little over a year, we had known what was coming. They spoke to us, They spoke t
The Day My Life Gained MeaningI locked you in my heartand threw away the keybut you picked that damnedrustyworthless lockand broke free.My screams of protestfell upon deaf ears.You stole my heartright from my chestand seconds before I died,you placed your heartin my empty chest—smiling—and whispered(Though it might as well have been a scream)"I love you."
LightThe darkest of daysBecomes happy and brightWhen I see youYou are my lightMy hopeThe only oneWho can save meFrom myselfPlease hear my pleaListen to my wordsAnd let me try to make you feelThe way you make me feel
Love and shardsYour warm lightReaches for my heartA call for loveA great passionBut you can't touch itIt's broken and darkenedAnd the sharp shardsWill break your skinYou'll have to waitWhile I pick up the piecesAnd put them togetherSo someday loving me will be safe
the recklessness i discarded to the starshe still lingers in the poems on my wristin the scars that were never even therebut still refuse to leave my sighthe had the sky in his eyes,mid-afternoon beauties so blinding and searing and painfuli couldn't help but gaze up at that sunbut god, i am so much lowermy eyes are the color of an early duskan ending and the tearsof tiring childrenthere is no sunset or fingerpaintingjust the darknessjust the sadness before the stars and moon and romancei have never held a love so truefor someone i didn't even love at alland the facts are all therethe math checks out even nowi still wish that the blankets smothering me at nightcould be his armsno fanfare, no lovejust reality and his scarily clear eyeson an overcast day when i am unafraid of heightsand freedommaybe that's all i really wanted from the start
not a placeyour brown eyesblack in shadetree sap to trap bugs in lightyour soft hair, soft cheeks, soft backsoft allyour hand on my shoulder a homeyour voice to me a home
My Best FriendEven from our firstExchanging of wordsMy heart meltedBecause of youYou are my bestAnd most intimate friendIn all honestyThese feelings are notMerely platonicYour very beingPermeates throughTo my dreamsThose wondrous, soporific thoughtsHeighten my current feelingsTaking them to new extremesI want them to remain with meForever
Vital AssetVital AssetBy PuabiWhen you have treasures,They may be lostBut they can be replacedI have had treasures beforeSome were lostSome were stolenBut I have one assetThat I will never loseEven when I dieIt is LoveMy most vital assetThough it may be replacedIt may not be the sameOur love will surviveThrough each age"How many lives we have livedI may not knowBut I know we were together."
Twenty-fiveYou shall never lose me.Only you can tasteThe honey of my heart.Only you can feelMy love when times are dark.Only you can touchEvery inch that is my skin.Only you can seeAll of me there is within.Only you can hearMy secrets buried deep.Only you can beThe shoulder when I weep.Only you are the one,The one that's meant for me.Only you are the one,And you shall never lose me.
WaitingEach wordThat you type across the screenFills my heart with joyYour intellect aloneDrives me crazyBut in the best of waysI can't even begin to tell youHow long I've waitedFor youI suspect that you may already knowThough it would beA downright dirty lieIf I said that lustful imagesOf the two of usDidn't constantly fill my thoughtsAnother emotion is even moreEver presentI long for the dayIn which I can stareDeeply into your eyesAnd let my true feelings be known
Love Poem, or: Fuck You, Pablo NerudaEmily is so prettyThat when other chicks are around herThey burst into big stinky bagsOf horse poop.At least as far as I'm concerned.They might still be alive.But fuck 'em.
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