Aciona

for the love of God
I only want to lay my head down
in your lap
and look up at a sky unclouded with regret
a sky ariotous with stars

I want to relax for the first time in years
to completely unwind
so that there are no longer any connected parts
I want to come completely undone
to be totally unafraid and confident that I am
not without purpose

I want to take this glass shard from my chest
pull this glass icicle from my rib cage
draw the glass dagger from my heart
I want to put this anger to rest

The Incident at the Actor’s Café

She kicks in the door
fishnets with snakeskin boots
Lithe and limber
she glides into the seat across the table
in perfect beat with the music

She says
“Love has two faces”

She signals the server that she’ll have two beers
Says
“One face is the satisfaction of the biological imperatives
(One of my personal favorites)”

Her empty bottle describes gravity’s rainbow
as it arcs perfectly into the recycle bin
She says
“The other is the pummeling of a helpless phone
when the bastard just wont answer”
(OK that one’s gonna leave a mark)

She caps the second one
orders two more
(One for me?)

Tonight her hair is a pale December moon with tips of fire
Tonight she keeps perfect rhythm
She grabs my hand
grabs my attention and says, “Can you feel it?
There are infinite worlds wrapped in the ten dimensions demanded by string theory”

She says
“In another place fish are swimming across the moon
leviathans are sliding across the floor
and you are hopelessly in love me”

She stands
stretches
“All I wants to know is
would such an unrequited love kill the muse for you?”

She hands me a pen from the back pocket of her too tight jeans
Produces a piece of paper for some unfathomable place
Says
“Love must always have two faces
so draw me with your words”

The forth beer follows the third
(Sooner or later the glass has got to break)

She says
“Let your words paint my lips
That I might savor them like chocolate
as you speak them into silken silence”

Says
“Pour the blood of your soul out through your mouth
Let go your heart and learn to fly”

The whole of the World holds it breath
intersecting at the point where her hand touches my hair
“I would that you might paint me
in the pangs and shards of a young man’s love”

We, the damned, are so pleased with your services

Oh and one last thing
before the event horizon completely forms
I have a message for you
from somewhere inside . . .

“Thank you.
The creature known to you as Bill
has been returned to his chaos box.
We never could have entrapped him without your help.
After all he was going too far
we all know this.

The part where you let him think
he was making progress . . .
and then when he dropped his defenses
smacking him in the face,
now that was inspired.
Several of our number have expressed a desire
to study any notes on technique
that you might care to forward.

We couldn’t have done better ourselves.
Your services in this respect
will be compensated with thirty pieces of silver
delivered to your doorstep sometime around midnight.

Please know that we, the damned, are so pleased with your services
that we may contact you in the future
if the need arises.
Again thanks.”

4:37 am

poet’s never really sleep
and for myself
i’d rather see dawn just before bed

4:37am
and. . .

click. . . click
zzzzzzzzzzzz. . .click

beauty
is bashing its brains out
against the light bulb outside the cabin
left on by mistake

feather dust symmetry

and colors beyond the simple hues of my vocabulary
i ache to see this and more

so many
i have never seen this many

sigh
i turn off the light
i blind myself to a rare beauty
better i fold my memories
and stuff them into the journal of my heart
than beauty should suffer
at my hand

Segment #2 ~ Jennifer and the Dragon Finding the Truth

“How did you do that?”
“I did nothing.”
“When I read those symbols
That language
It changed me . . .”
“You were not changed
You were revealed.”
“What?”
“For reasons I can not fathom
You have chosen this form in this place.
It is not my function to question
Your decisions.”
“Those symbols changed me into a dragon.”
“You are a dragon.”
“That’s crap.”
“This inference eludes me.”
“I am not a dragon. Stop saying . . .”
“Please look at your hands.”
Her hands had scales like polished titanium
And claws of diamond
This displeased her
“Make it stop.”
“I can not.”
“Make it stop now!”
One of the guys from production chose that particular moment
To stick his head into her cubicle
“Cuse me Jennifer
I need another copy of the order form for the Maxwell guys.
Jen are you OK?”
“I am not OK.
Do I look OK?”
Her tail lashed around the desk and almost hit the man.
“You look sort of upset . . .”
“I’ll print a copy of the order and bring it to you.”
The guy left.
“How is it that he didn’t see . . .”
“As with most nons he sees what he chooses to see.”
“I’m a dragon for God’s sake.”
“Exactly.”
She flipped her desk over with and enraged scream
Then she exited the building
Other people peeked into her cubical after a respectful silence
At the water cooler all the following week
No one could explain how such a small woman
Could flip a heavy metal desk
Some speculated that it was one of those adrenalin things
But no one had the courage to ask her

Segment #3 ~ Jennifer and the Dragon The Chase

She finds him by the water

The instant she is in striking distance
He slips into the water without a ripple

She leaps after him
He will pay for doing this to her
He will pay
Once submerged she casts about
Looking
Looking
Looking
Nothing
Silence
Nothing

She changes her eyes looking far into the ultra violets
She changes her eyes looking low into the infra reds
Nothing

She changes her nose and . . .
Yes
Just a hint of a scent . . .
There

She darts under the rock
He is not there
He has doubled back
There is a disturbance just upstream
He has left the water
In a burst of pure animal energy
She leaps into the air
And holds herself there by shear force of will

He is streaking across the sky moving East
She is after him
Faster than thought
She screams above the World
They cross into darkness
She changes her eyes and sees that she is gaining
Then he is gone

She hesitates
Where?
Where?
Where?
She is above an artic landscape
He could be anywhere
No heat
No sound
No scent
Her mind reaches . . .
reaches . . .
reaches
Nothing

Suddenly a movement
She falls from the night sky
A screaming blue-white arc
Down
Resonant harmonic chords
build within her diamond bones
accentuated by random
bone-jarring lurches
She is ripping through the glacier
They are under the glacier
The water tastes of salt

There is a glow in the depths
She is gaining
She smells the sulphur
There is heat
They plunge

She lashes
diamond talon against titanium scale
He evades
She counters
He slides behind a vent
She is there
He moves in four dimensions
She is there
He misturns
She is ready
Her claw is around his throat

“And now my Lady
Will you kill me?”
The thoughts form in her mind
“Yes.”
“Why?”
“After what you have done to me . . .”
“I am not the one trying to kill you.”
“Defend yourself.”
“No.”
“I will do it!”
“I understand.”
“Defend yourself!”
“No.”
“I hate you. I was happy not knowing.”
“You were not happy.
You were barely alive.”
“DEFEND yourself!”
“No.”

She throws him like a doll
He drifts
Regarding her
She weeps salt tears into a salt ocean

Segment #4 ~ Jennifer and the Dragon
In the Quiet of the Evening

The dragon is curled around the sofa
While his eyes were open
(It was not clear if he had eye lids)
His ribs are expanding and contracting
Indicating the rhythmic breathing
Of a sleeping creature

“Are you awake?”
“To the best of my knowledge that is one
Of the two questions that can not be answered
With a ‘Yes'”
“I hope I didn’t hurt you.
God knows, you’re tough enough.”
“You have not hurt me.”
“Can you . . . can we be hurt?”
“I do not wish to show you . . .”
“Have you been hurt?”
“Yes.”
His scales scrape the carpet as he shifts
The scales on his right shoulder stand on end
Like when the hair on the back of your neck stands on end
And there she can see the injury
She reaches to touch . . .
“Don’t . . . Sorry if I startled you.
Don’t touch me there.”
“Sorry.”
She sees the crusted blood
And the severed skin
The corded muscles ripple under the
Scabs
“I risk much revealing this to you.
You now see my vulnerability.”
“Does it hurt?”
“There are no human words . . .
Yes, it hurts.”
“How did it happen?”
“I am a creature of my word.
I swore to defend a lady once.”
“Was she attacked?”
“Technically no,
But she was very much afraid.”
“Who attacked her?”
“She attacked herself.”
“What?”
“I failed her
In every way
In every fashion.”
“She attacked herself?”
“Yes.”
“She did this?”
“I never realized I’d need to defend myself from her.
I’m not very good at civil action.
I could not harm a creature I had swore to defend.
I don’t think you can defend someone from themselves.”
“Where is she now?”
“Far away in a place that I can not go.”
“Would you if you could?”
“No.”
The scales clicked shut
Hiding the injury
“Will it ever heal?”
“Yes, in time all injuries heal.”
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
“You have already initiated the healing sequence.
For this I am grateful.”
“How have I helped?”
“You will see in time.”

Segment #1 ~ Jennifer and the Dragon Initial Contact in the Parking Lot

She had spent most of the evening
And a goodly portion of the night in the pub
Having only achieved a deep and abiding wish
That she had eaten a decent dinner instead

The night was misty and the sodium lights
Did little to lift her mood
She fumbled for her key

There he was
This silver dragon
Eyes of sapphire laser
Claws of diamond
Scales of luster

She ran back into the pub
She thought about telling someone
Then she thought they would think her mad
Then she told anyone who would listen
And they all went to look out the window
But he wasn’t there
She wasn’t even sure how she knew it was a he

She stayed in the pub till she was certain
The dragon had departed for parts unknowable
Doing all kinds of dragon things for dragon reasons

Sure enough
It was there
waiting
Motionless and yet undulating
Scales like polished titanium
Glistening in the light

She froze
Maybe if she ignored it
It would just go away
It had happened before
Except that on that occasion
It was not a dragon
And come to think of it
He hadn’t left either

Someone came out of the bar
Now someone would see it
Now someone . . .
The guy spoke to the dragon and it spoke back
The guy got into his car and drove off
Just like that
Drove off
And the dragon turned to once again regard her
Twin sapphire eyes that could cut through steel
Caressed her face without leaving a scratch

She considered
Then bolted for her car
She fumbled the key into the lock
And managed to get into the driver’s seat without incident

She turned and the dragon had not moved
Except to turn its head in her direction
She put the key into the ignition
But hesitated
Isn’t it always that way
The girl almost escapes but hesitates
And then . . .
And then . . .

The dragon didn’t move
Didn’t advance nor retreat
She noticed that the face was not
The horrid face of the dragons of Eastern Europe
Or the silly paper dragon face of the Orient
It was a face uniquely animal and yet . . .
His tail had twined around the light pole
And he seemed to be tapping the index claw
On his right foot to some kind of music in his head
She could see that he was writing something
In the pavement

She rolled down the window
“I know what you’re up to.” she said
Sensuous and opulent his voice rolled across the lot
“My lady, you are perhaps wise beyond your years
But you can know next to nothing of my thoughts and motives.”
“You’re gonna wait till my back is turned and . . .
And . . .
You’re gonna do something really nasty to this car.”

The dragon made a hissing sound
That could have been a laugh
A couple left the pub and drove off

She started the engine and shouted
“I’m leaving
There are people who are expecting me
And if I . . . if I . . .
There’s no telling what they might do.”
He winked his left eye and said “Goodnight my lady.”

She drove off
And didn’t see him in the rear view mirror
She drove around the block
And he wasn’t there
The lot was empty
She waited
But he did not reappear

She turned the car off
She had lied about people waiting
She suddenly felt very cold
She got out of the car and walked to the light pole
There in the yellowish light
Strange symbols
Somewhere between hieroglyphics and scientific schema
She stared at them for the longest time

Slowly something began to form in her head
A Message
A message for her specifically
A message . . .
Yes . . . She snapped her head up to see if the dragon
Had crept up on her
Nothing

The message said . . .
It was a warning of sorts
It was also some kind of joke
It said . . .
It said, “Watch out, there’s a dragon in the parking lot.”
She snapped to full alert
She looked in every direction
And strained her ears to hear
There was nothing
No one but her

She looked back down at the symbols
And noticed for the first time
Her own hand
Her hand had scales like polished titanium
Glistening in the light
And she laughed
Yes there was a dragon in the parking lot
And she was it