Tag Archives: love

The Daze of Days Boxed Up

Do not fit me in your box;

That box of how life is supposed to be —

That box is not for me.
Many a box up in the loft–

Dusty pages, faded photos, old coats,

Boxes filled with forgotten notes.
Your space is full of box.

A box fortress life.

Yet your head is full of strife.
Only this box full of my things,

One I brought over the sea

I will carry out and be free.

–by A. E. Wallace 


Prompt #2 Write something “On The Road” 

“HEATHEN”

No regret in taking the Heartbreak Highway. I have had no end of company on this road. In the end with you, I  guess, I was just a flash of rag-tag blur as you sped by at 55mph. Perhaps you pined a little as you saw me in that proverbial rear-view mirror of yours while that plain little woman sitting next to you passed you a ham sandwich and prattled on about the wedding plans she made for you both.

And I walk on with nothing left to lose— With the Sun on my face— I squint into the thermals bluring my memory of our mad love. But these thoughts are as elusive as the sweet smell of mesquite after a desert rain.

I need coffee.


Excerpt from The Vermilion Smoke

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Looking out into the nebulous horizon, Rigo steered the wheel. The tails of his flight coat flapped in the breeze. He could taste a metallic flavour in the air. Tears began to sting at his eyes but he was unsure if it was due to the quality of the air or the thought of Persephone lost in the ether. He shook the doubt from his mind and decided the woman was far too formidable to not have made correct calculations. Although she might not have yet reached her destination, she would do. Or perhaps she already had, he thought. Perhaps she found Captain Pepperdrake and Lenore. Perhaps even now somewhere in time, she might be toasting to her success in helping her brother find his lost love. She most likely was basking in the glory of their admiration and gratefulness. She was also most likely cursing Rigo and wondering what was taking him so long to get to them.

Or perhaps not. There had not been any transmissions from Persephone’s coms device in two days. However, the dials on the Tempus Sextant rotated chaotically indicating she was still moving through time. This gave him hope. It meant, theoretically, he could track her and find her. He would be able to follow her if he could just track the sky right. He needed to see the signs so he needed to fly into the eye of the storm. Although he was a navigator, he was not a scientist. That had been Persephone’s talent. She would know when all the conditions were right. She would know when to anchor and lock in to time. With one vial of Fluxinium left, he knew there would be only one chance to make it through the porthole.

He felt he reached the correct altitude. There was the familiar electricity in the sky prickling his face like the last time. He threw the lever into auto-pilot to maintain the course. He needed to be at the Captain’s override when the porthole opened so he could plug the Tempus Sextant into the Captain’s control panel. He looked at the spinning dials on the sextant once more before putting it into his large coat pocket.

Rigo had thrown any excess weight off the aerostat before he left the dock. All valuables had been stored at the Dr. Griffin’s warehouse. The Vermilion Smoke was barren of everything that meant anything.

Almost everything. He turned to look at Aursezz. His dragon regarded him from her corner on deck. He could not bear to part with her yet he did not know whether she would survive the journey. Her death would be even more unbearable. She never asked for this. He walked over to her, bent down and put his forehead to hers. I’ll set you free, my friend. I hope to see you again, he thought. Aursezz purred and sent him her thoughts of understanding. She acquiesced. He unlocked her from her security cable. She stretched her wings, shook them flapped once and took flight into the billowing air. He watched her fly away until her silhouette faded into the white lightening and tumorous clouds.

He was now the solitary member left on the Vermilion Smoke.  Tears stung his eyes again. This time it was not because of the air. Angrily, he wiped the tears away and brought his goggles down from the top of his leather flight cap to cover them and tightened his chinstrap. Rigo went back to the instruments and read all the gauges. He was unsure of most of the readings but he knew enough to know the craft was in good running order. The mad engineer had taught him enough to keep her running.

He reached into his coat pocket and reassuringly touched the sextant again. Then he put his left hand into his other pocket and took out a box. He brought this box to Persephone during the early days of their acquaintance. He had not long been onboard the Vermilion Smoke. He opened it. All the letters he wrote to her were still in it along with one she wrote to him. She had never sent it. He wanted to read it but a crippling regret threatened to suffocate his heart. He regarded it for what seemed an eternity lost in a golden reverie. Anger and fear took hold of him suddenly and broke the spell.

“I lied to you. I said what you wanted to hear. It’s what you wanted, my dear,” he said out loud to no one. He closed the box, walked to the bow, steadied his resolve and dropped it into the amber and bronze clouds.

The lightening clawed past the Vermilion Smoke and an eerie green illumination burst into view. This was the sign. The porthole was about to open. Rigo wished Chongan was there. The monk understood the magic of things. His quiet serenity gave the crew strength. He should have been the one to do this, thought Rigo. He bit back his doubts, went to his navigator’s podium and looked at the charts. He took out the sextant. The needle continued to move but was now wavering between two points. This was more than satisfactory.

Persephone, he thought. He picked up the vial of Fluxinium that was strapped to the podium and went to the engine room. He opened the door to the boiler and tossed the vial in. The fire went green. He slammed the door shut and bolted it. In a fluidity of motion, he turned wheels on gauges, flipped switches and pulled the correct levers for the engines then sat in Pepperdrake’s chair. The dials and switches on the arm of the chair formed an elaborate control panel that parroted those at the steering wheel. Rigo took a moment to marvel at the invention. Of course it had been Persephone’s genius that allowed her brother to fly so well.  The auto-pilot had been maintaining the course steadily but it was time to accelerate. Rigo strapped himself in, took the Tempus Sextant out of his pocket and plugged it into the control panel then flipped the master switch releasing the Vermilion Smoke from the auto-pilot.

Suddenly, the needle on the sextant steadied and locked in. The control panel accepted the reading; the lights went from amber to blue on the control panel. The sextant began to chime. The course was set. Rigo’s heart raced as he felt the thrust of acceleration. He saw the eerie green starburst of light at the centre grow bigger and bigger. He was headed into the eye of the storm and into the portal. His trajectory was set. He would see Persephone and Pepperdrake again.

–A.E.W.


Kerouac Rules for Spontaneous Prose #14

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Like Proust be an old teahead of time

There had been a general feeling of dreaming in those days. When I think back on those egregiously rambling roads against a deliriously bright backdrop of sand and sky, I cannot bear to think on how bleak I felt then compared to now. To be drenched in the naked flame of a desert sun should have been the evidence to a robust life. The thermals that manifested in the deceptive distance made the climate controlled environment of the Mercedes Benz surreal and inappropriate. The idea that any time spent outside the automobile in the desperate heat would release me to burst into a phoenix was something that seemed enchanted as I reclined against the cool leather interior, doe-eyed and uninterested.

As you drove, determined and resolute to make time, I pondered how aware you were of my reveries for our future. Your mind was always blank when I asked you what you were thinking. I fancied that the only sound you ever heard was the sound of the wheels on your car. I had looked forward to a life of travel and discovery. I saw many lives experienced as a couple with many stories to realise. Life and love would be a succession of road-side attractions and exotic vistas. But your thoughts were more solemn. Your ambitions did not comply with the winding paths and fay-like whims in my head. In the end, you were much engaged elsewhere and I was happy being so very distracted with whatever current endeavours I put my hand to.

Love turned to lovers—lovers turned to memories—time after time and adventure into misadventure—life leads us where it may.
How would I have known that I would have traded it all in for the damp winding roads that penetrate austere forests and bleak glens only to look back winsomely, as if in some kind of nostalgic time-lock? I cannot blame the idiocies of youth for the mindless move, either. Nor can I blame being blind to love’s promise. It was a case of wanderlust, pure and simple. It was the need to be somewhere else that was not known–To find colour after the lack of it–To find darkness after the blinding light then back again. It was the need to cross oceans and traverse the centuries to find adventure and mirth. I learned that the song never really changed; it simply went into key change.

My romance would always be fickle. Your career would always be diabolical. I would always be a chess piece. You would always be as elusive as the thermals on that highway all those years ago. And we would always remain apart.


Kerouac Rules for Spontaneous Prose #12

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“In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you”

Cook, baby. Cook! Fire up that old stove and magic the ingredients together. Work the creation into a culinary batch of divine intervention. Fill the pan with life and love– with before–with now–with someday. Sprinkle in more of that “we-will-be-the-always-and-forever” of songs, baby. Spice it up with so much hope and glory that we sit there at the table, grinning at each other, basking in the afterglow of recipe conception. For you and I are the gods of gastronomic design. Our universe swirls with the passion that sizzles and fizzles in the drop of olive oil. Lush and iniquitously large measures are for the living; to hell with the consequences. The future is now and we are hungry.


Kerouac Rules For Spontaneous Prose #9

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“The unspeakable visions of the individual

It was a Once Upon a Time moment. A man and a woman sat at a table in a garden café and spoke to each other. He noticed how her eyes sparkled when she spoke. She noticed the gentle tilt of his head when she made a point that he found unpredictably unconventional. They both enjoyed their conversation in, what seemed to be, a deferred moment in time as people blurred by in a disconnected frenzy of white noise. The only interruption was to come when the waiter crossed the threshold of their intimate sanctuary to enquire after their culinary needs—their general comfort. The time was spent with no other motivation but to be within each other’s company without distraction. That time was good.

Paradise was lost the day they became connected to all their friends and relations through the use of a mobile phone, social network and instant mail. Time after time, there was the debilitating sound of a small buzz that came from his coat pocket. He would pull the device out and check it. A friend needed help later. Would he come? A brother had liked someone’s photograph. An old lover lamented that she wished she was in Disneyland. And his mother was tired of picking up dirty socks. Her phone was on silent. But his constant notifications encouraged her to check her phone. She would read the screen. Her forehead creased. She was in a state of confusion one minute. She was mildly amused the next. Another time she looked absolutely vexed.

Neither mentioned what was happening in their respective worlds. They kept these messages private–For their eyes only. They thought about the goings-on of their other friends and family and the conversation between them became unfocussed and fraught. The world felt all too and they were far too preoccupied to speak to each other. Rather, they sat drinking their cups of tea, discussing the latest application and skirted around the issue that they knew all the news of each other because of what they read about the other from other friends on the their mutual friends-list.

One day, she was too distracted by his frequent checking of the social network. She wondered why he even bothered coming to see her that day as he was much engaged by what was being posted by his other friends. He became annoyed because as preoccupied as she seemed to be by the text messages she read, her answer to his question, “is everything ok?” was always, “it’s nothing.”

Suddenly, there were too many people at the table for two. In the effort to be “connected”, they found they had stopped being so connected to each other.

But they have not “unfriended” each other on the social network.


Kerouac Rules For Spontaneous Prose #8

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“Write what you want bottemless from bottom of the mind”

Looking on him sleeping sweetly–angelic quiet in the soundless time after outrageous triumph–more like a Lost Boy than The Pan–dream breathing and serene. He is lush to look at. Power in repose–and yet he will never know what hell I wage against myself. One day he will go. But for now he is mine–and so with that I gently kiss his nose.


Speaking to Joe about a cup of Joe… from the novel…

black-coffee “Java poetic! Beans ground, plunged, steeped to perfection. Oh dear elixir of morning beautiful!” He looked longingly into the cup with a beatific smile. “I wish everything was as real as this.”


The We Don’t Need No Badges! scene in the novel…

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“Limitations? Ah, one persons limitations is another person’s folly,” she said. “This much I know. What you are allowed to do is inconsequential to me.” He stood in the doorway looking at her. She was beautiful in her rage. With a quiet resentment, he knew he could never get her out of his head. And though she was full of pain and anger, he reached out to her to try to contain the emotional conflageration in which she now was tortured.

She pushed him away again. Through tears she put on her shoes–grabbed her coat–found her keys. “How can you stand there and talk of limitations when you took what once was mine–when you just keep me around–why?–not to bounce ideas off of, no–you want to have me–fill up–then send me on my way–empty– when your ego is near to bursting. Limitations? Your ethics are anorexic but your fucking ego is obese!”


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