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Sunday, May 31, 2009



Specter

she was standing in the door way
like 28 years had never passed
there was a dim glow behind her
but that could have been a faulty
light fixture in the distance
and my eyes have been worn down
by street life vigilance and now
the world appears as a digitized Van Gogh
of shattered memories and blurred
realisms
“you don’t look happy to see me?”
she said with a mock pout
I looked away long enough to reply
“I don’t believe in you, is all”
and I dip my shoulder as if to move to the side
she just stays in her pose, the way I remember her
on our better nights together
I stop close, frozen in the moment
she does look so real
and she speaks again
“you don’t believe in much, do you?”
I shrug
“I actually believe in more than I used to,
I just have this overwhelming suspicion that I
came about my beliefs a little too late to be saved
by the conviction in them”
she cracks a wry smile and I remember
all those moments of my youthful days spent
with her in my arms in cheap rooms around
Hollywood when it was grimy and broke
it all seemed so fragile and yet we went out
against it every day and we laughed about
the inequities more than we felt them as weight
and then she speaks again, before I slip
into a sentimental moment
“I didn’t die at you, you really have to forgive me,
your loneliness is not mine, your sadness is your own,
you really have to let me go and leave this place
before it finally kills you too”
inside my mouth my top front teeth grind
down in behind my bottom ones
and I give her my best truth
“I didn’t come back for you,
although, you do come with the real estate,
you are just a twisted memory of an
unrequited lover who died next me while
I slept, believing you were asleep as well,
an image of my own vulnerability
when I want things to be a certain way
and I can’t make them so,
you appear in so many forms
when I am beaten down from
fighting a losing battle
and now I am told I should surrender
and you are telling me I should run from that as well
like you have told me to run so many times before
the same way I ran from the hotel room that held your
cold and lifeless remains”
she bares her teeth and snorts as if
to hold back a barrage of laughter
“stay then, see where it gets you,
these streets are cleaned up and new,
the business you are failing in left you behind
so fucking long ago you are just a fucking joke
you roll around in desperation, hoping for absolution
that you might earn some remittance through acts of
selflessness and you keep failing
you keep falling into fear and impotency
the world is moving faster and farther
away from you”
she is still the same
always right about one thing
thinking it makes her right about everything
I close my eyes and breath deep to
come back with my best counter
“look, the whole going out in a blaze
of ingloriousness just isn’t me,
or if it is me, its not enough of me,
not completely enough to
give in to it now
anyway”
she begins to fade a little
as if the light was softening her
outline and her features were getting
softer and out of focus
“maybe not tonight, my love,
but I am always near to you
to show you the way
you know that
by now”
I feel weakened and tired
I don’t believe in ghosts
but Hollywood still has a way
of making the world seem magical for
a moment or a scene
and the disbelief
creeps back in
and I am talking to a wall
on a night where lights
and sounds seem real
enough to bring back the dead
and hope is as illusive as a specter
that seems to emanate from
bad lighting cues
and the cost of keeping
your life in the moment
is believing in yourself
more than the illusion
of love lost to death
in the distant past
of tinseltown

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