There are empty chairs
Empty chairs in every room
In the chapel there are twenty two
Empty recliners in the den
Tables surrounded by straight backed
Rests for the weary
Filled only with the tired light
Flittering through the window
Resting as it halts is search for truth
Empty stools at the kitchen bar
No food on the stove
Sustence isn't needed
There are no empty stomachs
Empty vanities in the bedroom
Where no one puts their face on anymore
Empty gliders in the nursery
Empty rockers on porch
Unstrung guitars leave a heavy
Reminder of all the songs unsung
The building is full
Of emptyness and gloom
There are empty chairs
Empty chairs in every room
The golden autumn leaves fall like hammer blows
Shaping the molten dreams of summer
They are quenched in the icy winter winds
Brittled they crack in the hope of spring
Melted down by the summer sun
Hammered home by orange strikes of fall
Tempered in the snow
Our dreams are forged into reality
Sharpened by the seasons
The razor's edge bleeds the boredom and strife
Fighting the world, our dreams are our knife.
Laben Conroy sat un-alone in his head
His lover lie cooling under the covers
She'd thrashed and moaned
She'd squirmed and she'd groaned
Whilst his fingers danced round her throat
Still unsatisfied he could not let her lie
So he rolled her over and had her again
Now Laben Conroy sat un-alone,
Crowded in fact was his head
Dripping with sweat, half hard and still wet
He buried his lover cold and dead
In a mound of pillows and sheets
The blankets still reeked
When he deserted her there in the bed
Laben Conroy walked un-alone in his head
He locked up the door on room 34
He was nine rooms through
Out of four wings this was two
How long would it be
Wondered the voices as he,
Played with the remaining sixty-six keys
’Til his manor was packed room to room.
One Bad Day
Right before I felt the pinch and the pressure, I remembered something a psychology professor said to me in college. I laughed a little, because it was so true and so sad. That last chuckle probably convinced them they were doing the right thing.
“We are all just one bad day away from crazy.” Three years, six months, and twenty seven days earlier I had my bad day.
I had a good life. I had a wife who loved me, a couple of awesome kids, and a decent job. In this economy, I had it better than so many other people. This particular day was five days past payday--which meant we were two days past broke--but the bills were paid for the most part.
All except that one bill, the one they'd been after for a couple of months. Now that I was in a position to pay a little on it at a time, they weren't interested in payments anymore. The calls amped up, and the threats of court action started coming. I laughed it off, and told them getting blood from a turnip would be a neat trick.
So there I was, sitting in my living room on my day off, after my wife and I had a little bit of a spat before she went to gym. Typical stuff: she wasn’t communicating well, I was playing too many videos games. Same things we had been fighting about for our three brief years of marriage. I was flipping through a boot camp year book that was lying on the table, thinking about the guys I had known in Iraq and before.
My youngest was screaming, her older sister wanting attention loudly. All I really wanted was to get them both to go to sleep and get on my computer. Instead, I got up and checked the mail. More damn bills, along with a couple of credit card offers. The teases; they were never going to give me a credit card. Even if the right loan would have simplified everything, would have made it where I could actually pay my bills. I set my four-month-old on the couch with a bottle propped up on a pillow where she could drink it, and I wouldn’t have to hold her--my wife hated it when I fed her like that--then I turned on a movie and gave the toddler some cookies to occupy her for a few minutes.
I sat down at my computer in the other room and got on my social networking page. There was nothing there, just stupid, insipid attempts at humor by people who really didn’t get it, coupled with a few likes and no comments on something I had put time and effort into writing. Frustrated in general I pulled up my favorite porn site and hunted a clean sock. I found a great looking video of a blond who looked younger than she was, having things done to her I wasn’t going to be doing to anyone anytime soon.
Three fucking pop-ups. Jesus Christ.
All I wanted to do was jack off in my moment of peace and try to relax, but now my damn computer was frozen, and probably infected with a virus too. So while my computer was restarting I went to the fridge and got a drink. Looking into the alley behind my house I saw some freaking lowlife selling little pills to kids half my age. I put the glass down on the table; condensation rolled down the side on to the table. There is no way I am going to let some shithead sell drugs in my damn backyard. Doesn’t this punk know whose house he is behind? He is about to find out.
I stepped into my bedroom and picked up my father’s 30-30 Marlin--one of the few things of his I had left. I fed four shells into the magazine, wracked the lever, and loaded another. Shoving a box of ammo into the cargo pocket of my shorts, I stepped out the back. Little shit isn’t even looking over here. I took careful aim, settling my cheek onto the stock and leveling out my breathing. Every time the front sight blade stopped on his left knee I took up a little trigger slack. The third or fourth time the sights settled, my rifle coughed fire and hurled a lead and copper rocket. It was a beautiful shot: blew his lower leg almost off, decimating the knee.
The two kids he was selling to took off running, their backs making excellent targets. Lever down and up, sights align; rinse and repeat, two more little shits down. A bullet to the head shut up the guy screaming about his knee. I reached into my pocket and fed four more rounds into my rifle.
This is my rifle. There are many like it but this one is mine. Without my rifle I am useless. I will use my rifle to kill the enemy. I will shoot him before he shoots me.
A late model sedan with gaudy wheels and tinted windows pulled up to the alley. As the doors opened and gun-waving idiots got out, intent on avenging their boy, I sent five shots into the car full of bangers as fast as I could. I ducked behind a dumpster and reloaded, then stepped back out into the alley. There were bullets flying all around me. These guys have to be the worst shots ever. Look at the way that asshat is holding his pistol. Down he went with a 30-30 bullet to the chest. The other two were already down, shot in the shoulder and stomach. I used the last two bullets in my rifle to execute the low-lives bleeding in my alley.
Two blocks away, there was a house tagged with their stupid gang graffiti. I got behind the wheel of their car and reloaded my rifle. When I pulled up in front of the crack house they were expecting anything but me to get out. I opened up on the three guys on the porch and then reloaded behind the car. I was out of ammo, now; the last five rounds were in my rifle. I killed the two wounded guys on the porch and finally limped home.
I didn’t realize I was bleeding until I was sitting on the couch burping my little girl, spit up all over her new onesie. That is how the cops found me, holding my beautiful little girl, blood seeping into the couch and carpet with my rifle leaning on the furniture next to me.
Between the cops, the lawyers, and my hysterical wife, the next several months were a blur. Guilty as charged was the verdict: Six counts of first degree murder, and one count of second. Guess they weren't as mad about the first drug dealer I killed.
The families of the two kids who were buying drugs showed up for my sentencing. They made a sad sight. Probably the first time they have come to anything for their kids. Too busy with whatever. That’s the reason their brats were buying drugs in my alley to begin with. They sentence me to death by lethal injection.
I was put in general population. Two weeks later they moved me to solitary after I strangled one banger to death while his friends almost beat me into a coma. Then solitary confinement.
I chuckled, the guy in the white coat flinched, and then I felt the pinch and the pressure. I wond...
The Heart of a Man
In the heart of a man beats a conviction
In the heart of a man lives a drastic need
In the heart of man dwells a deep thirst
A deep thirst for greatness
A drastic need to leave his mark
A conviction that he can change the world
In the heart of man there is no room for mediocrity
In the heart of a man the depths of failure
Are rivaled only by the heights of success
The heart of a man is a threat
The heart of a man is dangerous
To society, to conformity, to oppression
The heart of a man does not accept constraint
But how long can the heart in a man fight
How many fences can it cut or jump
The heart of man is trampled
The heart of a man is sneered at
The heart of a man
On a park bench
On a chill fall day
When the brown leaves twirl
Like broken helicopter blades
Crashing to the ground
Sat a lone young man with
A thousand yard stare
Premature flecks of gray in his hair
"He Looks so sad"
thought the little girl
With candy stained lips and
With the grace and empathy
Only Available to the young
Such as she
The little girl pulled on the sad man's hand
She gave a chocolate and a smile
Then away she ran
The tears began to trickle from the corner of his eye
The hand in his pocket uncocked the gun
Put away the death and tried not to run
As he got up and went home
One thought echoed through
I saw my daughter's eyes today
In breaking hours of dawn
When the electric sun lit up the room
And her smile shined brighter than the bulb
Six hours or ten years
How do you measure an absence
When reconciliation is met with joy and abandon
To no one else will my face mean so much
No one else is so precious to me
I have seen eyes beautiful and fair
And I have seen eyes dulled in death
I have seen eyes frantic with life
But never have I seen what I saw this morning
When I saw my daughter's eyes
Leaving, he said, and slowly turned away
His shoulders in the doorway filled the frame
The door clicked shut as her heart hit the floor
Was it real? Could he not love her anymore?
His tears splashed the pavement
Keeping the solemn time with his feet
She is better off without me he sighs
His shoulders droop and his soul sinks
Sad is true and gone is gone
By the time they realize their mistake
Time will have just moved on
Sacrificed one love to find a better life
How cruel it must be to believe such a lie
In trying so hard to do the best for the other
They lost bestfriends and much more than lovers
How much better it would have been
To have faced it hand in hand
Now instead of a one whole love
They have half a woman
And half a man