He walked down the busy street and conversations seemed bubbles, some kind of atmosphere, nothing more. He passed a couple and they may as well have been gas from sewers. He went into a restaurant to use the bathroom and walked down a hall with mirrors on both sides and they seemed with his dizziness from hunger to be eating each other. Timothy waited patiently for what seemed a small forever as some man apparently fell asleep for a time before being jerked awake by the thunder of one meek bit of dry lightning outside. Timothy was on his was to that spot in that alley behind the old mall, the gash, the spot where people said time had somehow simply just torn open.
It looked like something fallen from a charcoal sketch in an abstract art class but it was much more. The lines were thick and dark and somewhat askew. The forest was thick around it, unyiedingly so, embracingly so. The cold thin river ran from the higher hills past oblivious in the way space and form can be over the years. There were people in there.
The snows of 30 winters had covered this place and 30 thaws. The great quakes of past decades and years had surely flattened the shacks before, the permutations past of sticks and rocks out so far from the cities and even towns small and isolated. At that point far in the past they just walked away, shed the things the rest of us know like an itchy old skin to molt. This was the rumor anyway, the odd often disputed rumor that only persevered as there never were bodies, a return or the grave.
The Small Things
by Jeremy Hight
He turned the knob and flipped the switch and the thing that had sat there for decades in his grandfather’s garage like a curious jukebox eaten by a phone booth shuddered, light flickered and flashed, numbers spun on antiquated dials, Joey even thought he saw smoke make a little cloud for a bit. It was oddly alive in the way machines can be, dormancy over, it actually was doing something.
Joey was sure the thing was a prop from an old film, collected parts of many more likely. It had seen rains and droughts, bird droppings, spider colonies coming and going over the years, tarps gone bad by age but there it was , glowing, humming, almost seeming alive. Joey had seen the old films of the world’s fair robot that smoked cigarettes by remote control, of the future telephones that you could see yourself and who you were talking to. The smoking robot was mostly the old smoke and mirrors, human controls. The new phones had failed because they were too expensive and who wanted to show off that surprise vesuvius new nose zit or rush out the shower to a call from a boss or nun?
The young man stood in the parking lot of the mall solitary like a lone tree in a forest, like a blade of grass through cement. An odd older man met with him. The man’s hair was a fright of white in all directions, a storm of chaos and white. The older man spoke of storms and light, of past and present tied together by fire and garbage, by an act of forgetting made by something from the sky. He was clearly madness in a jumpsuit.
The young man listened politely in the odd painted geometry of an empty parking lot. He adored the old man for his bottled madness in those gentle eyes, in a kind of suburban boredom snake bite antidote in those crooked yellowing teeth, those odd strung words hanging in the stale summer air like astronauts high above the earth. The suburb may have once been a utopic vision dreamt of fusing a 3 headed beast of farm, city and something skinned of lawns, tiny parks and street signs between, a lava molten notion at the end of that long horrid war but it died house by house, street by street. This town to the young man was clearly its grave and his street that last clutching , grasping spasm of an idea mutated into a dullness: ash in the mouth, guano in the eyes.
The exact weight and measure
precise calibration and reverb
timed arc and resonance
jar filled to top
tape placed around
blank photos shot
meme rot unborn
of that thing
just beyond reach
That odd rumble
just beyond view
The almost imperceptable
The vestigial memory
of bright sun and past
this is the unease
this invisible weightless
great heavy weight
The great rain
from cloudless sky
The second before
the gale rips roof clean away
The moment before
disaster unfurls in space and time
the inches of measure unmeasured
around inhuman acts
sadly this is a great unifier
like birth, death
and the roiling chaos
and pause pockets of peace between dark waves
the great immeasurable
it circles the globes at this hour
The last clouds that drift across the valley after the great choruses of thunder, the menageries of lightning, the concerts of rain against metal, water and stone, these orphans roll above bringing brief scatterings of shade sometimes no larger than a backyard or car, their bodies of gravity defied water clinging to tiny leaves,insect wings and dust
they ride in the quiet, in the settling, in the denouement , almost missing the crowd, the solid dark skies slate with the rain and storm, stragglers to miss the event for miles till they evaporate.
But perhaps this is the folly of a human skyward view, the anthropomorphizing tick toward simply humble bits of wind, moisture, agitation of atmosphere, the paintings of color and form in the blue.
Nothing less , nothing more.
I remember the edge of the receding gales of worry in filaments and shards
a sort of peace in the erasures like forgetting itself this time is the snake bite venom antidote
by mundane tasks, empty
open moments to be filled in in any way
mass or ballast so not of that horrible event that is now at least in the visceral immediate moving out of direct view
I remember it now as the new storm has arrived.