Chronophobia

When it’s late enough, and sleep is faint
like reminiscent lips—the night
a lover—I watch
the sunset in reverse: watch
traces of the aurora
blink, at first
resigned, and bloom, dawning
old beginnings of a twilight
dreamed in solace. Here,
beauty is both amnesia
and recall: the past
in present, kissing away
the birth of tomorrow.

In passing

As if to glance were to know:
the night a spot of ink on our lips,
and aloof, motionless dancing;
the danger being what dance
and when, and though your eyes
are courage enough for apologies
in retrospect, I worry mine
are clumsy shoes, empty spaces:
those very kinds of rusted pennies
we imagine could be peonies,
and maybe even were once, but
now find their place in the mud,
kicked from hole to hole,
trusting a stranger’s hand
to know their chant of bronze.

Highway-89: The Red Hills

The highway relics—
those haunting desert store
fronts of histories
sold in jewels—
hold the spirits
of these hills:

remissions
of once endless freedoms
lost to the freedom
of their solitude:

reflections
of passing
eyes casting their
resignations:

reminders
of each inexplicable
relic left behind
to be forgotten.

Voices

The blistered reflections of tattered lips,
imprinted like tufts of latticed glass
on an injured screen,
color drowned in the peeling of blood-orange
words, panting their dissonant sighs
to those unwilling to listen,
are the archives of lost voices—

those underwhelmed shadows
of expression,
with worlds at their tongues,
and no history from which to
imagine anything but the
silence.

Short Story Excerpt: Untitled

The night: a hollow of retreating formalities as I, from within, watch the thin nylon barrier dance between us. The tent is a language of liquid; relentlessly, it forms and reforms to the natural voices in erasable expressions. Rain, the intermittent rhythm, falls. Breathing pervades from the two lungs beside me, and coyotes scat some far distance beyond us. Alone, I revel somewhere in between these musical phrases and the ambient silence. I hesitate to say if I’m fully awake, for, while I can’t sleep, I imagine myself bodiless: the desert part dream-catcher and dream.

When we’d arrived, the moon was dimmed out of existence by dark looming clouds. We trailed a neglected road, warning signs on the fences, searching the labyrinth for off-shoots. The desert—a nocturnal breath—spread discreetly like an unimaginable dream, wrapped us within itself. I wish to think it was the other way around—us as the essence, the deep mythology of the place wrapping outward from our skin— but no. The desert was its own presence—us reaching in.

Alongside me, sleeping now under the familiar Arizonian desert, were two considerable friends: those very people you’d imagine you’d die for if you had to. The kind you talk with unabridged and without guards. The ones unsatisfied with themselves—ever reaching, ever soaring further. The kind you think about without even realizing. The fallible, brash, interrogating types of friends that remind you of yourself. The friends you know both everything and nothing about.

We had agreed to sleep in a single row, perpendicular to the tent opening, three across. Farthest from the opening slept Tony, but everyone called him Tono. His complexion was dark and his hair darker. He had a wire-frame body and inviting brown eyes. He was neither entirely outgoing nor reserved but carried a thoughtful and engaging presence about himself. His voice was not deep enough to sound gruff, and was articulated with a well-tempered neutrality.

In the middle of us two slept Catherine. Catherine, of course, was entirely too pompous of a name, so she went by C.T. She had straight black hair, the length reaching beyond her shoulders, and turquoise eyes that expressed a striking intelligence and clarity. Her walk was purposeful and entirely balanced. She was both pensive and demanding, private and expressive.

Nonetheless, they were this—and so this they are—leaving me, patiently awaiting the clock still hours in advance of ringing, listening to the steady chant of rain drops.

Reflection and Reconcideration

“Hey Tyler, where’s that two week novel you were gonna write, huh?”

Okay, okay. I failed, miserably at that. But hey, before you crucify my false sense of commitment and dictate my dedication from the results, just know the project will continue with modifications. Unfortunately, I got the flu the day after I committed myself to the challenge, so that may have thrown a wrench in my ability. But hey, that’s just a theory!

Anyways, this post is about the future, not the less than satisfactory past. 40,000 words is still my goal for this project, however, from now on I will be posting intermittent additions of about 500 words. Here’s to not giving up!