projectile letters

i find words
that have endured the matrimony
of iodine and open wounds
left to simmer like
pies for Sunday dinner on windowsills
taste better to those folks
who make a fetish
out of misery
feast on it
like whirring screens
in a peep show booth
no one knows you’re in
except your past lives
these words
become crumpled bills
currency to what they think true artists
should be
ignoring the possibility
that perhaps said artist
had to hurl these words
from their abdomen
rather than their heart
even heaving
has a purpose

invisible vampires and the rest of us.


– Peter Tosh

more and more, i begin to realize that there is an urge
being created in people’s minds. it’s the urge to feed
on people, to drain them of all that’s good. ever hear
someone you know tell you about a work situation, or a
fight with a lover, or a quarrel with a family member?
isn’t ‘draining’ a common word that links all of these
situations? and then you see part of the problem right
there in front of you.

the invisible vampires.

see, Peter Tosh was on the money in naming them. even
more so now, because society has always been overtaken
with its love of vampires. i mean, one of the most
popular TV shows out is ‘True Blood’, filled with all
sorts of vampires who carouse with blood and sex as
their main courses. young girls(and older women, let’s
be real)got wrapped up in the ‘Twilight’ series over
the past few years. it’s really nothing new; Dracula
has always remained a figure of constant examination
and lore, and Anne Rice wouldn’t have been Anne Rice
without ‘Interview With A Vampire’.

but when you really look at it…the symbolism is so
potent, and while it can be easily dismissed, it still
lies embedded in this society. the invisible vampires
are those who seek to steal. they’re the agents of
chaos working to get over on all of us. i always felt
that the ‘Twilight’ series encouraged meekness and
submission, both emotional and sexual, from young women.
one of my fave TV shows, ‘Community’ dropped this line
in it’s first season: ‘You know what Twilight tells
us? Old men dig young flesh.’ True, aint it? even
the series of Blade movies – okay, the first two more
than the epileptic joke of the last one – spoke to
humanity being at the mercy of vampires. cattle to be
bled out and fed on.

political and sociological tones aside, think about
some of the situations in your life. you may have
invisible vampires at your table and you don’t even
know it. or you DO know it and think that they’ll
leave once they’ve had their fill. no dice. they are
aware as you, in some moments more so. they’re here
to feed on you because their internal misery desires
company, desires control to the point where they will
eliminate yours and bring you pain and confusion. they
can be very familiar. sometimes they can go away and
turn up again like one of those ‘pre-approved loan’
letters from a random car dealership. sometimes they
don’t even know they’re working on behalf of more
ruthless agents of destruction. in any event, you
should realize they’re out there. they’re not gonna
look like a Bill, or an Edward. invisible vampires
take any form and use it for their gain. your spirit,
your essence being theirs. don’t let ’em sit at the
table and get their meals.

until the next time…

beck and call.

i think sometimes, we suffer from the idea that in
order to facilitate and foster and even deepen the
bonds we have with some people, it’s about bending
to their suggestions to the point where we break
our own rhythm. i have a friend of mine who kind
of playfully touches on this topic. whenever i miss
a phone call, she’ll leave a message demanding to
know where i’m at and that i should be at ‘beck
and call’. we get a good laugh out of it because
our friendship was never based on that. has no
traces of it. but others do.

you want to be there for people all the time. at
least, i want to. you want to share in their life
as they’ve shared in yours, because that’s the
depth of connection you have. but in some cases,
you’ll have a person in your life who takes it to
the edge a bit. they want to see you this time,
this date. quiet insistence that grates on you
like subway cars on old tracks. and in a way, they
don’t realize that they are infringing on you.
it’s when you gotta drag them back across that
line and say, in actions or words if need be,
‘listen. i have things to do. if it’s not a dire
situation, let me be.’ you have to do that in
order for the bonds you have with people to be
stronger and not one-sided. i’ve been there a bit.
i have given more than my share at times. i do
realize that it is one of my flaws, giving too
much at a detriment to myself. i still struggle
with that balance. this is an aspect of it, one
that deals with time. a commodity we don’t get
to replenish.

it’s going to be tough, but for those who feel
you need to be at beck and call, tell them this:
‘my last name isn’t Benson. relax.’

until the next time…

pressed script

*for brownin*

i know
the script your heart writes in
sharp strokes give way
to curves that hang like sage and saffron
in an evening crosswind

i know
you worry
that i will pass it by
as if it sat on a subway stairwell
and i was too busy to catch a train

i know
the fears of letting fade
the writing of one who cares
on pages of time between them
i tie them all together carefully