Song for a Roadside Motel Room

Gravel crunches as I pull into an almost empty parking lot
Cut the engine, watch it shudder a weak protest
Slump back in the torn leather seat
And light a cigarette
Eyes jumping to and from the few scattered cars
Like an old detective film
Make sure the coast is clear

Office door creaks open just enough for me to slip through
See a lonesome burning smoke in a overflowing ashtray
Call out a "Hello" in a shaky voice
Then stammer an "Is anyone there?"
He lumbers out, another cigarette stuck in his unshaven face
Caters to my demands, passes a worn silver key
The door shuts itself on the way out

Unlock Room 23 and make a beeline to the mini bar
Drink a fifth of Gin and stare at the peeling paint on the ceiling
Breath in deep and try to subdue qualms
Misgivings are unattractive
Though more faithful for certain
Drain the remaining 1/4 and toss the bottle at the trash
And duck out for a six-pack of Bud from the corner store

The knock is soft and drawn out, almost ghost-like
Before the door opens and she enters
Unsure steps and uncertain smile
Watch her clumsily undress behind a curtain of blue smoke
Fumble nervously with your keys
Take one last swig of beer
Then hold her like you would a dying child

Wake hungover the next morning
Wearing nothing but a tee-shirt and a headache
Blindly reach out to the bedside drawers
In search of the remains of last nights crumpled soft pack
Strike a match and light
Focus gets shifted to the fire fly like ember
Meekly smile and turn over to find her gone

Office door is stuck tight
Spit out a string of expletives while banging on the smudged glass
Stubbly smile soon appears behind
Eagerly ushers me in, exclaiming that he saw
A pretty young thing leaving earlier on
He bums a cigarette and raises his grubby hand in hope of a high-five
I leave him hanging

Damn New Yorker has trouble starting
Splutters and then purrs
Under a murky grey impressionist sky
Press last limp excuse for a cigarette against a solemn mouth
Bid farewell to a road-side motel
That rings a little close to home
Gravel crunches as I pull out of an almost empty parking lot
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Photographs of Photographs

Have you read the news today?
We wander about aimlessly like lost children
In the shade of the city street
And each time we kneel in cubicles (our daily confession booth)
We’re losing touch with reality and wasting youth behind a computer screen
We’ve grown into these suits, and we’re growing bigger in these chairs
Looking forward to what the evening brings
To sit anesthetized in front of your color television
And slowly slip deep into a dreamless sleep

Why do we try so hard to make a connection?
These days it seems no one speaks with any conviction
Why do we try so hard to make a connection?
When every living creature dies alone

Any by the way,
Why do we take our fathers harsh word to heart?
He keeps walking in circles, in circles, in circles
And do you think he followed his dreams?
Or just gave in and settled for a nice house with a dog and a yard?
The final curtains closing in
And Death’s drifting closer in his sleep
And with his last breath, sighed upon white hospital sheets
He may only ask that you don’t do the same

There’s a siren in the night
But it’s not coming for you
And a long lost love letter,
Written by a familiar hand
But you can’t seem to make the connection
What will you do when you find out that the lifeboat that you cling so tightly to
Turns out to really be an anchor?
What will you do when you realize your life is already lost?
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Dating Her Ghost

She was the sigh between sentences
Now séances provide no light
She was the warmth in a lonely bed
She's the reason he can't sleep at night

The record skipped
Like a clumsy heart bet out of time
The music box broke
The actor has forgot his lines

We will never ever know how she died
Breath taken by another lover
Or the razors kiss of suicide

Is that her dancing down the hallway?
Or is it just inside your head
Is that her whispering your middle name?
It's just inside your head
Let go of hope
Let go of hope
Let go of hope
Before it eats you alive
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Arbor Day

Been too long hiding suspicions
Concerning what goes on behind shuttered window panes
I can smell him on your neck
And see him in your smile
I'm beat down by deceit
The glove box isn't the cleverest place to hide "Tomorrow Night?"
On scraps of paper

I took an axe to the old oak
Where we carved our names 
Summers ago in childish love
Splintering the scarred heart
Into a million useless chips
That will never be worth cashing in

Each strike is for a promise that you shattered
Every blow for what you were doing to him
I should've paid more attention
To the stains on your birthday cardigan
I swing until it slips from my calloused hands in exhaustion
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Flight DJ999

The plane is ascending into a dark night sky above the Atlantic Ocean. I sit twisted in my window seat watching the city lights growing smaller and smaller. The plane seems to lurch slightly and I am hit with a strange realization: I am going to die. We are about to descend into the vast black ocean and disintegrate into nothingness. Surprisingly I feel calm, collected almost. I lean back into my chair and accept my fate.
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The Wheatstone Pond

The murky water sits still upon the surface
A distorted reflection stares vacantly into your sunken eyes
It’s been near a decade since you last saw this place
Watched the willows weep as you sent her to the depths of her grave

Drag the lake in search for past mistakes
Winter-bare bones and condemned doll houses
The forensic team is waiting patiently at the edge
To match blemished teeth and soggy clumps of blonde hair

The cuffs bit hungrily into scarred wrists
As you gave directions from the plastic-coated back seat
The smell of gas station coffee wafts teasingly through the caged wall
Their subtle smiles hinting that they don’t honestly believe
And if they did it’s certainly not in atonement

The cell is cold, the steel bench unforgiving beneath your backside
A tattered thrift store bible rests hopefully upon your thigh
Head lowered, prayers spill from your bruised lips
It’s in this barren room that you will serve the remainder of your days
God have mercy on your poor soul

The title of this piece is borrowed from the novel of Robert Westall's of the same name.
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Lens Flare

The blizzard howls outside of your window
A white beast, tearing at the panes
Lashing out at your lonesome longing
As you lie curled in front of the open flames

Your heart has  it’s  own hearth
That burns steadily through the night

Scented candles and lace slips
Draped softly over skin
Wishes pressed so tight
Against the corners of your lips
As you watch me melt away

Like the faith we found in short stories
The catharsis after the epilogue's been read
Fate's hand is converging the lines of both our lives
Pushing gently at the fragile edges
Coaxing our left hands to pen letters
And make the sign of the cross
Across our turbulent chests

for Shannon...
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Monday Mourning

It’s 5Am and sleep has become a thing of the past. Through my open window I can see the mornings light glowing a rich orange behind the silhouette of trees.
I’m contemplating calling into the call center where I earn my paycheck and selling them the concept of the insomnia that has seemed to settle over me.
Plus how could I even consider taking on a shift that doesn’t even provide coffee.
Soon daybreak will be fully upon me and I can lie upon my mattress on the floor, and read until I figure what to do. Actually I could do with a sizey cup of the good stuff that the people in monkey suits won’t let us drink at the office.
The English accent of the singer of the band that is playing from my ten-dollar computer speakers is soothing.  It’s homely, like watching an old movie with a big bowl of popcorn, or snuggling up to a cute girl underneath the sheets. God knows that’s been a while. Too long if you ask me. And yesterday was fucking Valentine’s Day.
By the way I’m writing this on my cell phone as a series of txt messages I never plan on sending. Laying here in pajama pants and a Simpson’s duvet with the insides missing so it’s just the cover. The night was too hot for anything else. I haven’t had a winter in over a year, I swear on my life it’s killing me. I really hate the heat but always seem to end up in hot climates in the summer time.
Monday morning has grown pretty light out so I think I’m gonna stumble my way, (not unlike the living dead) to the 7/11 to pick up a pack of cigarettes, a doughnut and a coffee.
You know sometimes life doesn’t seem so bad.
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