Formerly Badass Horrible Poetry

This isn't just a poetry blog. Let's be honest, a lot of what I post is poetry but there are more often than not also postings about short stories. I do try to keep this blog separate from my others and post strictly creative work here. Some of it will be better than others, and much of it is in first or second draft stage when posted. These are raw works, and there will be spelling and grammar troubles at times because I use this blog to gauge what works and what doesn't. I use it as a place to get feedback. That's the reason it is "horrible". Because it's not finished-- And why should it be? We all want feedback but most of us are too afraid to put ourselves out there.

Welcome to my word.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Character Experiment: Asher - Part 6 Wander Like Cain


The village sprawled through the mountain pass, each street weblike and twisted as if the entire village was carved from the land by a spider wishing to span the ravine. The peaks surrounding the humble city, if one could call it that, were pure white with snow, broken up by dark ragged faces of smoky rock.
            The man was out of place, with his messy blonde hair and light skin and scruffy beard, but even in the urban cities of the west he rejected all company and was rejected by it. If he could belong nowhere, he would wander everywhere. The man wove through the dirt streets, scattering the chickens that clucked and gossiped near his leather heels.
            Darker, beautiful faces with chocolate and amber eyes turned as he walked the grassy paths. Some carrying baskets caught a glimpse of a stump at the end of the man’s right arm, wrapped in the colored cloth of an old prayer flag. Before he vanished the unfinished limb inside a pocket in his leather jacket, one of the teenage boys could see an oddly shaped brand puckering the skin near the elbow.
            The man walked with aimless purpose, right arm slung deep into his coat, his left playing with a crumpled Polaroid in his hand. He checked it idly from time to time before coming upon the behind of a great dark and hairy beast.
            He froze.
            It mooed.
A chubby tail, thick with coarse hair swat at a fly. The man scooted around the yak, which was tethered loosely to a wooden post upon witch strings of multicolored flags flew. The yak chomped and gorged itself on flowers and dried mountain grasses.
            The man approached the twinning horns and, with his good hand, pat the beast’s star shaped blaze. It’s cows eyes blinked and its great lashes fluttered as he stroked its head lightly.
            “You are not what I thought you were, big guy.”
The yak gave him a long blank stare, chewing its cud.
            “I thought you were this:”
The man held the crumpled photo up to the yak’s flat forehead. The yak studied the photo, enjoying the bright sunlight heating its dark back. In the photo, the hulking black shape had the same blobular construction and the same hair, course and granny, but the face was sharp and angular and it’s teach pointed and red like a rapid hyena. The yak raised its head and puffed a hot breath in the man’s face. Then it gripped the photo between its teeth and ate the crumpled paper.
            The man tried to extract the paper by picking at the mottled gum line of the bovine animal, but after many minutes struggling and inserting fingers in the animal’s soft pallet, he gave up, both his hand and stump covered in viscous gooey saliva.  He glared at the great cow and sucked on his lip.
            “Fine.” Said the man. “I’ll just print out another.” He looked from the yak to the surrounding blankets, woven in kaleidoscope fabrics and the small dotting of cowhide-clad children he pretended not to notice.
            “Now where do you suppose they keep a computer out here?”

©2014 Lex Vex

Monday, April 28, 2014

Character Experiment: Asher - Part 5 Monsters


Her skin puckered at the edge of the gash and blood dripped from the ravines of skin, staining the pale lilac dress mahogany red. Asher’s tiny hand clung to the doorknob, which echoed with brassy light from the dim street lamp that shone in the dawn. Asher coyly put a hand in his yellow sleep shorts and scratched, mesmerized by the dripping liquid that never seemed to pool below her. Indeed, before the blood’s dripping globules touched the stoop, they evaporated like fire, or smoke, leaving no trace behind.
      However, the woman’s heavy breathing and raged groans, as well as the balled up fist clenching the rouge on her dress called for better attention.
      “Excuse me Mrs.—” Asher hesitated, disquieted to the woman’s jerking movement as her neck craned mechanically towards the young child, as if it had only just noticed the boy. “Um, do you need the police?” The woman did not move. Her deep-set eyes regarded him as an obstacle that she had not foreseen and must avoid. All Asher saw was that she said nothing back.
      “If you can wait right here, I’m gonna get Mommy.” The woman nodded almost imperceptibly and Asher quietly closed the front door. He tried pulling on the doorknob with both hands to see if it was locked. Knowing nothing of keys or door bolts, when the door did not open upon the first tug, Asher assumed it was locked.
      The young boy fumbled his way up the waves of carpeting of the stairs on all fours. When his foot stepped on the fifth step he heard the creak of the door from from the entryway. When he peaked at the shadows distorting the walls and remembered the bloody woman below, he called down to her, hoping not to wake his parents, “You should come in and sit in the living room. It’s safe in there.” As he turned a hand back to the stairwell, he added, “Just lock the door or Dad’ll be mad at me!”
      He was surprised to hear the woman speak up the stairwell in a too calm voice the texture of wet bar soap, “I would not want to ever get you into trouble.” Confused, Asher peaked his head over the balcony; the woman sat weeping noiselessly in the farthest couch, her face buried in crimson hands and shoulders heaving.
      “It’ll be ok, Lady,” Asher said, smiling nervously.
She ignored him.
      Clambering up the rest of the stairs, Asher pushed open the white wooden door to his parents’ bedroom. He was glad that it was open, unlike some nights, when he woke with a nightmare. On those nights his father opened the door with force and huffed back to bed, leaving his wife to calm Asher down. For dealing with his monsters she had a system, one she tried to employ after Asher woke her up on this night.
      “I heard something downstairs—like a thump-thump-thump- like a drum or something.” His mother’s eyes widened and her cheeks pinked.
      “That was hours ago—Mommy and Dad were playing a game and you were asleep!”
      “No,” Asher pouted. “Not like when you and Dad play pillow Ping-Pong” His mother grimaced and over in the bed, the sheets rustled as Asher’s father shifted uncomfortably. “It was knocking, so I went downstairs and  I–”
      “Asher! No one was knocking on the door. Your father and I would have heard—“
      But just as she spoke, the third stair, the one made of dry pine, creaked. His mother turned to him sharply. Her eyes were so wide.
      “What happened when you went downstairs?”
Asher backed away a little from his mother. In the dark the highlights in her hair shone blue and there seamed to be silver coins in her eyes from the reflected light of the bathroom. At the sound on the stair, Wes Hunter had bolted wide-awake, into the bathroom where he rummaged for something.
      “What happened, Asher?” His mother’s voice was strained and her breath sour from sleep. Tears glossed over Asher’s eyes. He wanted to be like his Buzz Lightyear toy, brave and a hero and the woman downstairs had needed help, he was sure of it.
      “The lady was bleeding—I thought… I thought I’d get her a band aid and we could help and I could join star-command.”
      “Asher—who—what lady?”
      “The one who was knocking!”
      “Where is she now?”
      “Did she wear a lilac dress?” Asher’s father stood as a shadow lit from behind by crimson light reflecting off the bathroom walls.
      “N-no,” Asher stuttered. “It was blue and she was hurt like, real bad, Dad.” Asher looked from his father’s obscurity to his mother. Her face was still and staring but her chest moved rapidly. With mute eyes she turned to look at her son.
      “Where is she now?”
      “I let her in… And… And I and um and I told her to sit on the couch.”
A smack left a ringing pain to unravel across Asher’s face. Tears leaked involuntarily down his chin and he shrank back from his mother. Her face was livid, her eyes terrified.
      “How- how could you- be so- we told you—“
Asher’s father walked, stiff legged, towards his wife, carrying two sharpened sticks. He gently set one down on the pinky-blue carpet in front of her, patting her lightly and turned toward his son. Asher scooted farther back but his father’s gaze was sad, not angry. He did not beckon his son closer.
      “Asher, remember what we told you about the monsters?”
Asher nodded.
      “Tell me. Tell me now so I know you know.”
Asher met his father’s glistening gaze.
      “Go into the closet ‘cause—“
      “—Cause the last place a monster looks for you is in its own lair.” Asher’s mother finished, her voice wavering.
      Asher looked between his parents. He stood up and put his hand on the door of the door of the closet. He turned back to where his mother weighed the sharpened wood and his father stretched, his legs as if he were going for a run. Asher caught their gaze. Father and Mother looked at their son, and the moon seemed to fall out of orbit.
      “Don’t come out of the closet until you see the sunlight hit the back wall.”
      “And please, Asher, don’t peak. Don’t look until we come and get you.”
      “Or the sun comes.”
      “To infinity?” asked Asher as a loud footstep hit the landing.
      “And beyond,” his parents said in unison.
Asher crept into the closet, avoiding socks and mothballs and those little packets of perfume one slips in a sock drawer. The door shut silently on the carpet behind him. He settled in, wrapping himself in spaceman towels and his mother’s silk robe from Japan. His parents he could hear mumbling for a time. One of them walked towards the closet and said something Asher could not quite understand. Asher hummed in agreement. His father told him to say nothing.
      “I love you.”
Asher did not reply.
      Something knocked on the bedroom door three times, sounding course and hollow and scratched like bark by bear claws. For a moment the only sound was that of the AC turning off and a gurgle as its motor choked and died.
      Then the sound of wind imploding inside a vacuum. The outer door being ripped from its hinges.
      For minutes or hours or seconds Asher lay captivated by sound. Surrounded in warm towels, he stared above his head at the hems of Technicolor dresses, all grey in the darkness. His father’s shoes were stacked under his head and their Fritos smell masked the acid of the cacophony of sounds that marched in a twisted parade. Blades hissing in fire. Cold cracking in heat. The squish of something sharp inside a fleshy abdomen. Gurgles and chopping and twisted breath of choking: a splurt: a slice
      Screams, screaming, Silence.

Silence


So much silence.

Munching. Slurping. A Burp.
      Asher could not sit anymore. He had to know. He had to look. Through the slotted bars of wood in the closet, Asher peeped one eye into the bedroom he thought he knew. He caught a glimpse of sun and the carpet and deep red stains like spilled wine. And an unmoving limb, separated. And an unmoving body. And now two unmoving bodies. And a pulsating brown mass, gorging itself with something grey and pink that had been ripped from flesh and blood and life itself.
      Asher’s legs gave out and he fell to his knees. He would never be sure if the Monster’s brown mass had mistook his knees hitting the ground as some kind of signal, or if it had finally noticed the sunlight peeping into the room like a watchdog but all the same the beast chose to abandon its steak and retreat. Slow pounding footsteps thudded with separate beats down each buckling stair.
      But the sun had not peaked through the closet and there would still be hours to go. The A/C, like his mother, like his father, never came back, and heat and smells wafted inside in a steady breeze.
      By the time the sun shown through the slits in the door, patterning the towel shelf like cell bars, the sun was high, the heat beaded sweat under the matted hair of Asher’s head, and the smell that permeated every corner was death.
      Asher was found standing in a four-way intersection.
The second hand blood had dried on his shirt. When the middle-aged soccer mom, taking her losing team for ice cream screeched to a stop, Asher was taken in, and deposited like a parcel at the doormat of the police station. When the man in the blue hat came to talk with him, he could not speak. And when he had to, in the cement block room in the back, at the county hearing, at his councilor appointments, no one believed he had seen any kind of monster that was not human.

©2014 Lex Vex

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Character Experiment: Asher - Part 4 How to kiss


“Bring up the house, Sid,” said Mrs. Fendever impatiently. Jenna looked at her expectantly and waited. “What, may I ask, was that?” Asher blushed and pulled his head quickly away from Jenna’s face. “Asher, you’re kissing Isolde, the woman you love, for god’s sake, not your grandmother! Make it big! This is a raw moment of passion!”
            “Who kisses their grandmother on the lips?!” Asher demanded.
            “Never mind that—Keep going, and during the next wet and sloppy, try to make it look less painful, would you?”
            “We’ll try,” piped in Jenna. And she did try. It just wouldn’t work. Had it been private, had it been intimate, had her English teacher not been staring them down within an inch of their lives. Had Liv not been seated front and center on the first big rehearsal. Then, maybe.
            They must have improved somewhat, because by the end of rehearsal, Mrs. Fendever simply told them, sipping her 8th mug of Chai, to remember breath mints for the rest of the week. As she left the theatre she checked to see if Liv sat waiting for her in the usual spot outside on the green. She had not. Jenna checked every other place on campus she could think of but by the time she reached The Brink, her advisor’s office lounge in the basement of the history building next to the boiler, she was out of breath. She stretched out on the puce leather couch, her head on a coffee stained arm.
            She wasn’t settled for too long, however, when Asher opened the creaky door, his hair damp from the steady drizzle outside. He did not seem surprised to see her and plopped down next to her. She’d curled her legs under herself to make room.
            “I talked to Fendever – she’s so confusing—she says we’ve got chemistry, right up till the kissing bits…” Asher looked at her, as if waiting for her to say something. She did not. “She told me she thinks we get all awkward. I wasn’t getting awkward—no, not awkward—were you?”
            Jenna shifted so that the tips of her bare toes were touching Asher’s pants leg. “Well, I wouldn’t say awkward… More like, we over thought it. A lot.”
            Asher prickled underneath her big toe. He put one leg up on the other’s knee and folded his arms over his lap.
 “Really?” He said, “I didn’t think about it. Over-think about it. There were just a lot of stage lights and Fendever staring at us like a horny pig—”
“Eww—god—I didn’t mean like that stuff—”
            “Well what did you mean?”
Jenna watched Asher’s blank face watch her blank face.  Nothing about that face changed noticeably, yet he seemed more sober somehow.
            “Liv.”
Jenna grimaced. Asher shook his short blond hair and some fell in his eyes.
            “She bolted the minute Fendever mentioned that today was makeout day.” He stretched out on the couch, picking up Jenna’s ankles to rest them on his knees. “Don’t worry, she’ll get over it after the show.”
            The light didn’t reach his eyes.
            “I guess we know she likes you. You must be excited.”
            “Yeah.”
Asher tugged at a hole worn into the couch until a small pad of fluffy cotton came out. He twirled it between his fingers.
            “That’s what you wanted, right?”
            “Yeah, it’s pretty cool,” said Asher.
Asher’s gaze wafted past Jenna to the neon green lit clock behind her.
            You know,” Asher continued, “Fendever’s right. We should go over our lines. I keep confusing the third and fourth scenes.” He paused. “We can skip the face eating for now, if you want.”
                        Jenna smiled but sat back in her end of the couch, where a loose spring was poking into her upper thigh. As she studied him, Asher pulled the little bits of cotton apart into smaller aerated sections.
            “No.” She said, soft but firmly, “We want the audience to believe in the passion of our affair, right?”
            Asher laughed. The lines, in this sepulchral space forced no echoes, forced no silences as the boiler across the hall clicked into fire. The poetry that had first stumbled and dragged itself from their mouths naturalized, and now, if a syllable lagged, if it wore on, if it stuttered itself, it did so with intent. Asher’s face went distinctly pink and his freckles glowed alongside the smattering of teenage facial hair. Jenna imagined a blotchy splotch of re spread like a rare and infectious disease on her own features.
            Asher had been wrong. The kissing scenes were much stranger without the lights, the artifice, the mechanism of an English teacher bearing down on them. They sat in opposition, and moonbeams rang this time when their lips touched.
Well there’s your problem, guys.” Scoffed a voice from the doorway. Luke sauntered in, shaking his head in amusement. “Kissing scenes never work if you just wait around for the other person to start.” Luke sprang lightly onto the couch, his back sinking into the thinning faux leather, dividing the two, who had jerked apart at his appearance.
“If I may—“ Asher stared stonily at Luke. “You can’t just say to a girl, ‘Oh hey there, I’m going to molest your face with my tongue’—You need to take one of two tactics: you can build up the tension—“ his face was serene and his eyelids lowered dreamily. The whole of his eye was clear as if he could see through his target with the sliver and red flecks of his iris. His lips were parted just enough that the polished fronts of his teeth were visible. His face loomed closer and closer—to Asher—just as Asher did his best to sit, stony faced and leaning away.
“Develop the tension,” Luke said. “lead into a long…” his face was half a foot from a crimson Asher. “Dramatic…” his voice dropped to a hushed purr. “…forbidden moment…” His eyes almost closed, he paused so close to Asher that their noses almost touched. At the angle Asher was bent away from Luke, he should have fallen over. “Or,” Luke said in a normal tone, “You can take advantage of a situation and take her by surprise:” turning, Luke ran his right hand through Jenna’s hair and cupped her chin with his other.
His breath was hot and minty: Jenna tasted it moments before his mouth closed on hers. Why should she fight it? Her eyes closed instinctively and their lips moved in sync to a rhythm that was theirs alone. The drums hammered on. The warmth of stars, of fire, of ice, of all things that burn brightest just before they extinguish seeped through her lips, down to her center, spreading from her core to every extremity. Even her pinky fingers and toes tingled. Luke broke away and turned, smiling, towards Asher.
      “I’d give a few more lessons but I’ve got soccer in ten.” And he left.
      After straightening her blouse and brushing some of the messy strays of red hair back into place, Jenna watched Asher. She didn’t know how he looked. His face was still a deep red, and the bottom of his lip looked sucked in, as if he was on the way to biting his lip. His long dark lashes were downcast, blocking his caramel irises, and his hands were either clenching the sofa or ripping apart the cotton.
Without looking at her, he said, “He is right about one thing; we need practice if I have to live up to that performance. 

©2014 Lex Vex

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Character Experiment: Asher - Part 3 Apology letter


Dear Ms. Aimee,
      It was wrong of me to scare Benji and Ari. I shouldn’t have taken them on a hunt for the thing that lives in the basement. I know the carpet down there is new and expensive but I didn’t know Benji was gonna puke on it. I didn’t think he was going to be a wuss so scared. I’m also sorry about your father’s chair. The only reason the stuffing is huddled in the far corner of the storage closet is because I didn’t want to lose it. I promise that the first time I stabbed the chair is only because I was running with scizzors and slipped on my butt and stabbed it, not because I was using it to practice killing monsters bears. Some day when I’m old (Like, 25) I’ll buy your father a new chair. Unless hes dead. Its hard to tell because you live alone. I might even pay over a hundred dollars for the new chair. I am sorry again that Benji barfed casserole on your carpet and you had to clean it up. I hope this is enough words because Mrs. Primass said I had to write 200 words to you to make up for my behavior. 100.
-    Asher Hunter


©2014 M. Lexi Vecchio

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Character Experiment: Asher -- Part 2 Drunken Fight


             I felt stupid cradling the flask to my hip bone with my left hand while my dominant hand clasped itself firmly around the bone handle of a silver laced stake. The raw leather of the hilt guard moaned in my fingers.
            Without putting down my chalice of fireball whiskey, I swung behind me, hand in reverse grip and half expecting the steely tip of the blade to thrust itself into the rotting sinewy carcass of that monster’s hide. Instead the tip embedded itself into the mildewed door of the boxcar resting on the set of harrowed rusting tracks farthest from the view of the street. I tried tugging out the blade, but only succeeded in sloshing half of the remaining sliver of whiskey down my shirt. By the time I’d extracted my quarry and regained my footing on the uneven surface, the gravel was already crunching from the copse of trees six yards off.
            I shoved the blade in the pocket of my Iron Pigs sweatshirt. With the thirst of a loyalist to Jonestown, I swallowed the remaining drops in my canteen and licked my lips just to taste every last drop of fire before the embers died and I’d be left in shadows.
            Luke’s footsteps echoed, mirroring the foghorn of the train ringing from a few towns before us. He walked too casually along the sea of gravel, ignoring the pounding, swirling waves my head created through the landscape.
            I half expected his eyes to glow in the dust lit half-light of dusk. At first he slid through the charcoaled trees, bobbing between blossoms of pink orange and blue sky, a shadow weaving the night into the landscape. I stood, not exactly in a stupor but oddly lopsided, as if my legs were the wrong length, or I was standing with one foot in the ground. The warm buzz of cicadas and alcohol completed the chord of crunching gravel.  The nearest street lamp was yards away down the single live track that ran just in front of where I stood, but still I could make out the spaces where I knew Luke’s features to be. I opened my mouth to speak but I could not force anything coherent out, so I brought the flask to my lips out of habit, sipping the air. Luke started.
            “New?” He asked. I sucked in my lower lip and watched him. My grip tightened around the leather handle in my front pocket. Luke extended an arm to my shoulder. As the flat of his palm approached the cusp of my chest I clumsily dodged it and he shrank back, wounded without even a strike.
            “S’not right now that you’re turned out to be a… a monster.”
I grimaced at the sound of my own voice. The corners of Luke’s lips furled as they had always done just before he laughed. His audacity was astounding, His eyes were stale milk.
            “It’s not like I’ve killed anyone, Ash.”
            “Yet—although, what the hell do you call what you did to Zack? He’d be better off dead.”
            “You don’t mean that.” I didn’t.
            “Who’s to say you won’t break into someone’s house all… all hulked out or whatever. Who’s to say you won’t wake their kid. Who’s to say he won’t run into his parent’s bedroom and wake them up? Who’s to say he won’t peak through the slots in the closet door as you slaughter his father like a pig and drown his mother in her own throat. Who.”
            Luke’s eyes were even in disgust with my own. Not far, a train’s whistle echoed through the ravine.
            “Asher, you know me, man. We’re friends.”
            “You mean you wouldn’t harm a fly? How about maul your own brother? OH. Wait. Right. Proud. I’m proud of you, man.” My vision swam in the darkness and for a moment I mistook the sky for red.
            “You know, no one would believe that kid anyway.”
            “What kid…?” Luke took half a step back when I advanced on him. I liked seeing the bastard like this. Like this, with his clumsy foot shuffle and his dumb grimace trained on his dumb face so he couldn’t hurt anyone. I took another step just to watch his face blur and come back into focus. He looked almost more like a freak. My lips parted in a forced easy smile.
            “What kid, Ash?” he repeated.
            “The little kid—the kid! The kid no ones gonna believe when he tells the police it was monsters who filleted his parents!”
            The train’s whistle was muted in my ears. I shuffled a step closer to the tracks It was just enough. Luke’s instinct took him a step back but even though I was the drunk one, it was him who misjudged the distance. He toppled backwards, hitting the back of his head on the far vibrating rail of track.
            For a second he lay motionless on the ground. In my head I traded places with him and saw my own arm stretch out, like it would after one of us fell down in soccer, to pull him up, like he’d pulled me up a hundred times on the field when the spring muds swelled the earth. But he did not take my hand and I drew it back, withdrawing my arms into my shell to grip the stake. When I glanced back to Luke once again I saw the monster, pointed teeth, elongated claws, kissed with the scar of teeth on his calf and the ghost of his bestial self dripping around him. I almost recoiled.  Under my converse, the iron bars of the live track rumbled like distant thunder. It must have been this groan of metal that brought Luke back to his senses.
            “You know what that is, Luke?”
Luke’s eyes scrutinized me, in a squinting focus. God, it made his face ugly.
            “That’s the eight o’clock train,” I said. For some reason my smile retracted. Luke shot up but his world’s axis was now tilting like mine, maybe even worse, but I couldn’t be sure because the second he tried to get up again, I pinned him to the ties with the flat of my wet sneaker.
            “I’ve done research- I know, me, in a library… Jokes, am I right?” He didn’t laugh. Luke shook out his brown feathery mane as best he could, pinned to the earth’s crust. Some of his hair clung to his mouth. “But,” I continued; “Now I know. There’s more than one way to put down a dog. I even got a freaking silver stake off eBay – man, they sell this shit on eBay!” Looking into his eyes, his normal, grey-tone eyes, I could imagine my own reflection in them: My damp hair curling into spikes, wearing clothes covered in plant matter and mud, a sports sweatshirt housing a decorative railway spike. I had to move my focus to his navel. “But I don’t even know if I can use this thing…” Luke’s mouth opened a little and mercy shown in his eyes. “I hear a good beheading does the trick just as good.”
            I churned my foot into his chest, and through his ribcage I could feel the reverberations of the track.
            “You don’t have to do this.”
It was weak and gasping and cliché and pathetic. But so was my return.
            “Yes, I do.”
            I could now see the single yellow beam blazing at the periphery of my vision.
            “Ash, I know what its like to lose a parent,” Luke heaved out. My muscles relaxed and I pressed him harder into the track.
            “No, you don’t. You’re fuck of a dad’s alive, just pussied out on having a kid – or two—I mean, he went from bachelor to father of twins, the poor fuck.” I dug my heel into his diaphragm, wishing a little I’d been wearing cleats. “But nah, see my parents, they were brave and good and the fucking best and now they’re turning to dust six feet down.” Luke watched my face with pity. I eased up on his chest only because I recoiled at the thought of that monster pitying me. Now he could speak.
            “In that case,” he said through wheezes I could see as mist hanging in the air, “You should feel bad for me… You’re parents wanted you… loved you and mine—“
I had been scooping dirt from under my fingernails with the biting tip of the steel, but at this I stopped. Emboldened, he said, “You’re parents loved you enough to die before they’d leave you, and my dad left me because I existed.”
            I kicked him in the stomach. Hard. He curled up into a pathetic circle, gasping and maybe he even barfed but I didn’t watch. I had to get away from him so I staggered down the other side of the embankment to the trees, filling my lungs with clean air. When I trudged back up seconds later, I crouched low, ready to give him another punch to the face. Before I could, he’d decked me in the nose. Blood gushed from my left nostril and tears blurred everything but the muted colors. I fell and rolled over on the track next to the bastard, holding my nose as he cradled his stomach. For a moment we lay, post coital, each holding a bruised or bleeding portion of our own bodies, well aware of the steam engine making tremulous steel beneath our heads rock like white noise. My head screamed and I wished I hadn’t drained my flask.
            “You ASSHOLE.” I shouted over the clanking din.
            “You started it, assbutt.”
My arm flailed out, gripping his dark sweater, but he struggled upwards, freeing himself of my grip. I wasn’t worried about the train, but my head was swimming for real. I rolled over and I think I puked blood onto the tracks. Blood and whiskey.
            My eyes stung and my throat was raw, but I could still move, so I pulled myself to a limp standing position. Luke stood not far off, grinning at me like it was a month ago, like it was funny, like we were still friends. I was actually going to strangle him.
            But when I moved, I stumbled. And it was not because I was drunk. In the struggle either to beat up or stand up, or just on a whim, my shoelaces had caught fast around my ankle and on the iron rails.
Stuck, stuck, I’m stuck you fuck, the panic said. Luke was dumbstruck and staring at my feet. The train was 40 yards off. 30. 15.
“Dude?!”
I shouted. Adrenalin, sweat and holy fuck motivated me like a struggling deer in quicksand. It was freaky how lithe Luke had become. He seemed as smoke, drifting half-formed until he was there, by the base of my leg, tugging at the muddy wet laces in the dark.
“The fuck did you do?!”
“Hell if I know—”
“Shit, man,”
The train screamed. So did we.
“Do it do it do it!”
“ShutupI’mtrying!”
The train loomed above us.
            “Fuck your shoe, Asher!”
Luke tugged at my waist. I was horrified.
            “Do you know how much that edition cost?!”
It didn’t matter. In a second it was flatter than Kiera Knightley’s chest. But we were not.
            Luke sprawled on top of me. We were a mess of gangly limbs. He had launched at me and together we cascaded down the halfway down the embankment just before the train whipped past, only feet from our faces.
            I think we were both winded because neither of us even tried to extract ourselves as the train flew by us, changing color like a slideshow. Luke bent over after the train was finished and reached into an old stagnant puddle of water next to the muddy embankment. From it he pulled, shining like the stars that had finally risen, the stake with traces of embossed silver leaves patterning its blade. He handed it to me, and as he pulled away, I could see where the silver filigree had branded his flesh like the mark of Cain.
            His eyes were plain and grey and he never flinched, though I saw him rub at his hand idly for a while after.
            “You were killing me, then?”
            “Not tonight.”
            His sharpened teeth realigned into a Cheshire grin. I had no way to refuse as the train’s call screeched into the next stop.
            How I got home, I don’t know.
Blackouts get crazy. 

©2014 Lex Vex

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Character Experiment: Asher - Part 1


       Asher smooshed his cheeks against the lollipop sticky bars to get a better look at the wild boar. He sniffed loudly, and even still, a slimy trickle of mucous coated the area between his upper lip and nose. Some of the slime oozed down his bottom lip and salty curdle blossomed throughout his mouth. His eyes were no longer dewy but almost matte in the chilly cloudless day. The sunlight seeped over his skin and its weak warmth shielded him from shivering in his light sweatshirt.
      The wild boars seemed enormous compared with his visions of Pumba. The boar stood perhaps four feet from the ground. It’s tusks were mottled with the stringy wrappings of dried vegetation. Coarse brown hair swept along the fields of its back as it grunted, its soft petal nose sniffing its way closer to the bars as it waited for bait of half eaten candy-bars and street fair. Heat dripped from its nostrils, dripping onto the sloping embankment near the wall of the enclosure. It’s eyes were neither warm nor cold, just as the haunted ivory tusks bore no mother’s care nor the protection of a firearm.
      Asher rubbed his nose with the back of a tiny hand. He heard Ms. Aimee call his name in a tinny French accent but he ignored her and stooped to the hard concrete sidewalk. Grits and sandpaper stones dug into his knees.
      He scrutinized the beast, his lip curled up to his wet nose and his eyes squinting. The boar snorted, stepping closer. Its beady black eyes stared at him, and the way the ditch of the enclosure sank, the beasts head sat just under Asher’s. It’s breath smelled dull, of acorns, moss, roots, and scraps of fried chicken, hotdogs, and plastic bags.
      “Ewww…”
A tangled bush of curly blonde hair blocked the face of the child who had joined Asher at the bars.
      “Its not that bad.”
      “Yeah it is—it smells like when Scooter threw up cat poop.”
      Asher hadn’t wasted time learning many names in the weeks he’d lived at Covenfeld, but he knew the name of the yappy rat terrier who loved licking faces and nipping ankles and the mahogany sideboards of the home. He had overheard one night, as he sat on the floor next to the wall of his room picking at the pine tree wallpaper  that furled in on itself just above the heating vent, older kids swearing and chasing a scurrying pounding sound of claws entertained and annoyed by its incessant barking. Asher liked that dog. It was a rescue. Kindof like him.
      “Or maybe like Aimee’s chicken casserole, if a monkey pooped on it, ate it and pooped it out again and then Scooter ate it with the cat poop and threw all of that up,” the blonde boy said, eyes shining at the very thought and shaking a rounded clammy fist.
      “I’ve smelled worse.”
      “How worse?”
      “The monster that killed Mom and Dad smelled way worse. Like Eating a toad, or a trashcan or vegetables or girls or—”
      “Or poop?”
Asher sighed. “Or poop.” The blond boy’s freckles brightened and he smiled, showing empty sockets where his front teeth should be.
      “You saw a monster?” he said, wide eyed at Asher.
      “ Yeah, I’m trying to find it. I’m gonna kill it!”
The Blond kid perked up and he scouted the perimeter, checking for the monster, expecting it to come barreling forth to surprise them both.
      “Can I help?” the kid said, eyes wide.
      “Sure.”
      “Is that it?” the kid said, pointing at the giant boar shuffling in the long grass, urinating as it did. Asher frowned, pursing his lips.
      “I thought so, but then I saw its face and I don’t think so now.”
      “Oh…” the kid looked put out. “How do you know?”
      “Cause its too short and its nose is the wrong shape.”
      “Boys!” shouted a third voice that hinted towards a foreign origin. The blonde boys looked at each other.
      “We should follow Aimee.”
“Yeah, I need to pee.”
“Then we can look more for your monster?”
“To kill it?”
“Yeah!”
“Yeah!”
The boys started towards the parade of foster children following Ms. Aimee like a tribe of ducklings. Asher turned towards the boy as they walked.
            “Do you think Ms. Aimee will take us to the gift shop now?”

©2014 Lex Vex

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Aftermath of a Sightseeing Boat Tour when the Engine Blows Up and Many People Die and You End Up on a Lifeboat with a Man you Cannot See and Feel Seasick with a Sunburn




Tenzin’s face was so hot. He could feel the heat radiating off his own flesh when he ran his hand over the surface. He inclined his head in the direction of his hand before him. In his fingers twirled a curled furl of waxy peeled skin. He had been plucking itchy flakes of it from his arm all day.
            “Would you stop doing that?!” Asked a man’s voice from about two and a half feet away. He kept shifting in his seat, and Tenzin’s stomach rolled a little bit every time the man’s movements rocked the boat. Tenzin had always had problems on boats; it was impossible to point spot if you could not see. Scratching at his left shoulder blade with his right hand, Tenzin scraped off another loose shard of dry skin where the sun and emberous deck had curdled it. He heard the man gag.
            “Stop, I said. You’re making me feel sick. Sick and Itchy.”
            The boat swayed again in the sticky quiet of the lake grotto. Tenzin felt something putrid and acid burp into his mouth, but he swallowed the flavor with a burp. A sticky sweet and sour and bitter residue claimed the back of his tongue.
            “If you’re sick, don’t look. And if you are itchy, just scratch. I’m not looking.” Tenzin smiled at his own joke, and directed his broken eyes to where he believed the man to be across from him. He refused to blink. This made him smile broader, with pearly white teeth clenched.  “Just scratch,” Tenzin said. “Just stop moving this damn little skiff.”
            “I can’t”
            “What do you mean, ‘I can’t’?”
            “I mean that I’m itchy on my right forearm. I ain’t got a right forearm. You’re giving me phantom itch, you asshole.”
            “Yeah, well,” said Tenzin, trying to steady himself by reaching over the side of the boat. He dipped a hand into the water, swirling the current in wet ripples. He felt something rubbery, like a dead fish or perhaps a waterlogged human hand bump against his flesh and withdrew his arm like a whip. “You’re making me nauseous.”
            Tenzin bent his head over  his knees, listening the water from his arm drip into the pooling water in the bottom of the boat. He twisted the disembodied skin between his fingers once more, distracted. The only sound apart from the dripping hand was the water lapping and the irritated sighs of the one armed man sitting on the opposing bench. Neither helped.
           
            Finally, more irritated by the phantom itch than he could possibly muster, the one armed man dove towards Tenzin’s side of the boat, rocking it in a jumble; he gripped Tenzin’s yellowing right arm tight and twisted it around, knocking Tenzin forward. He twisted the arm and wrapped it around his own body to where his shoulder ended in a contorted cicatrix-lined nub. His coarse uneven fingernails scratched away at the small Vietnamese man’s wrist, and he ejaculated words like “Oh yeah,” “Right there baby” and grunting low, rhythmic patterns like a virgin about to come.
            Tenzin could not see the man’s movement or the swirling whirlpool of waves whipping through the still sound. Nor could he feel the pleasure of the man’s insistent scratching, only the baby claws of a kitten at its first scratching post. His world spun and his balance flipped his brain. His senses tumbled from the rocking, bouncing, churning little boat.
            The one armed man shouted oh god oh god oh god just as Tenzin’s breakfast splattered into the water slowly filling the bottom of the boat.

©2014 Lex Vex

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Glenny

                                    -For Aunt Glenny
it sloshed and buckled
   but only one scoop splashed to
      the floor and
the frizzed blonde hair, frazzled
with humidity and still smelling
    of seaweed stink
from the cool dip in the ocean,
picked up the gooey blotch
    of ice cream and threw it in the trashcan.
vanilla squished between her fingers
and played
    hide    and    seek
in pink cuticles;
but all were washed away in the sink.
Tree Knotted Cushion Hands lift lightly
   the oreo pie crust
      layered in too much cream and whipped milk
and cool whip and
     a whole oil rig of eight kinds of chocolate,
all into the freezer to set.
when we passed around the ice cream pie,
everyone smiled and cookie bits blackened their teeth.
it was beautiful.
 especially You.

now I'm the only one left to know
how to chef an ice cream pie.

©2014 Lex Vex

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Where Hearts Dwell

Lost hearts lie forgotten
         in spirals of molten paper
                 drawn on the minds of middle school
When the first cooties molted to butterflies. 

Paper hearts lie in storage
        at the bottom of recycling bins
                 and classsroom closets
and that notsosecret safe mothers keep of childrens childhood 
to remind them that they too once played in the mud. 

Ink hearts lie under scribbles
        where the twenty something horomones
                  hid them. They were just a lapse
and the flavor of nastalgia we pretend not to savor. 

Honest hearts lie 
        in sleeves where they know they are safe. 
                  It takes its protective shell off only
when the heartbeat swells and suffocates the seams. 

Then the kaleidescope wings
         and the funneling antennae
                take to the sky
And the multi-machina hearts viverate each other
in more natural nector  untill they burst in starwater

The ink we use to draw on more pages
and wallpaper our domesticity 
with unbeating Hearts.
©2014 Lex Vex

Monday, April 14, 2014

Scenes of an Italian Lecture

And the buckling bells did sing
                          the dirge of dinner.
Feed them grilled eels and oranges from
                           Da Vinci's cookbook.
Seat the victem as neighbor to his murder so that
                           When a closing door wails the hollow
scream of spectors
                           at least the dinner party can chatter through the inturruption.
The flickering lights make thunder
                           that can only be heard by mice
that scurry dodging the fat woman's high heel.
                           Overies of grapes dotted the pannatone
but before the groom cut the Montebore
                           Moaning Lisa,
The perfected golden fig,
                         Died having an orgasm
Wrinkling like a sunkist apricot.

©2014 Lex Vex

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Last Man on Earth (Monologue, 1F, Theatrical)

For a change of pace I'll put up a post-apocalyptic monologue. Feel free to use it if you want, just remember to say my name- Just know that it isn't from a play or anything.


The Last Man On Earth

Characters:
DAWN WALKER – A young woman in her 20s. She just lived through the apocalypse and thinks she is the last woman on earth. She is intent on breaking up with her boyfriend, SKYLAR.

(The Scene is set in a nice park overlooking post-apocalyptic New Haven. Everything around for miles is destroyed, and DAWN ENTERS alone on stage, preparing to talk to her boyfriend SKY. Though she is trying to sound and act like everything is normal, she is freaking out inside. She clings desperately to her former life. There is a skeleton reclining on a bench nearby to where she is standing.)

DAWN
I can almost hear the birds whistling in the trees—and if you ignore that mushroom cloud out over the bay, you can even pretend that there are actual people heading home on the highway from downtown! And over there—West Haven, looks just like it always has! (Pause) We should’ve come here sooner… before this got out of hand… I was so shocked when Mrs. Handelmen up and crumbled into salt! I always told her sodium level would be the death of her… especially the way she would shower table salt onto her pork rinds in the dining hall…Anyway, the thing is, Skylar, baby… (Takes notice of the skeleton on the bench) Ok, that’s it, I’m sorry… This really cannot be ignored any longer: How long has that been there? I know it’s the apocalypse, and all kinds of brimstone and hellfire have been just spewing from the depths of hell—but how in God’s name is there a skeleton just sitting here on the bench?! Creepy crispy burned out husk of a corpse—ok, fine, I’d buy it, but that is a freaking bleached skeleton! (DAWN notices a ring on the skeleton’s finger. Ignoring her former distain for the skeleton, DAWN grabs its hand and examines the ring more closely.) Ooh! This ring it’s got—is that a silver inlay between the amber or… oh. It’s chipped in the middle. (DAWN drops the skeleton’s hand in disgust) keep it… Sky, you’re wondering why I asked you here to the park… in sight of a deranged skeleton and a few crispy squirrels… in the middle of the freaking apocalypse…Well, (DAWN starts to try to break up with SKYLAR, but deflects to a different topic.) I needed to show you what I found in the Wal-Mart near the freeway. I was down there this morning sifting through cartons of cereal scattered on the floor between the condiments and hair products when I found this! (DAWN takes out a copy of a newspaper, Weekly World News to be exact) This isn’t just any copy of Weekly World News—Oh no. This is a copy of Weekly world news from this morning! The whole world is exploding, we can’t find another living soul, and yet they still manage to print this shit! I mean, look at the headline! ‘Experts say Apocalypse a fake’ – seriously?! – “Caroline Ludwig, renown bibliophysicist, 26, stated on Tuesday ‘the levels of sulfur on the surface, and the amount of volcanic ash blowing in over Europe are nowhere near the toxicity expected by the release of Lucifer.”—None of this makes any sense! The one time they could’ve been right— The one freaking time! ‘not the apocalypse’—Yes it fucking is! It is the fucking apocalypse! It is! (Notices SKY is still standing with her and folds up the paper again.) But—what I’m saying is: there are other people out there! Psychotic World News writing people, but people nonetheless! We aren’t alone, Skylar! We don’t have to do it! We don’t have to repopulate the whole fucking world! Skylar? What are you on your knees… oh god… Oh no… please tell me that isn’t… that isn’t a ring… Skylar, where did you get that? (pause) You spent your entire college fund?! Pause) Hold your horses, you spent anything at all?! Everyone is dead, Skylar! You could’ve just taken it! I don’t think the radioactive skeleton at the register would’ve minded! He’s fucking dead! (Pause) The ring… oh… about the ring… See here’s the thing: I like my name—Dawn Walker—its got a-a nice feel to it. Dawn Shittager? It’s just not me. I say it out loud and I feel like I should clean my mouth out with soap. And you can’t take my name, cause then you’d be Sky Walker, and then I’d be the only one around to make bad ‘Padawan’ jokes. The DVD store got blasted into the next continent when the oil basin underneath exploded—it was like the first thing to go—so not even our kids wouldn’t get the joke. I actually asked you here today because… I’m trying to break up with you. I just can’t do it—none of it—not you, not me—I just cant do this whole “last man and woman on earth” shtick. Sky, stop crying… the skeleton is watching. Look, its not you: I mean, the cuddling was nice—especially since now everything smells like sulfur, if you have any B.O., I can’t tell! And the other night, when we sat outside on the damp grass and watched the hurricane rip apart Long Island, and you were stroking my hair, I was about as content as I ever thought I could be in this germ infested, tetanus-trap. I didn’t even mind that the mud from the water treatment plant soaked through our blanket and ruined my last clean dress. As we watched the boats in the harbor ripped apart by electric flame, I could see that burning passion in your eyes. But then you kissed me… Kissing you is like… It’s like kissing a dead fish—there’s no movement. And your breath… it smells like fish! All the time—I kissed you once, just after you finished brushing your teeth and BAM- fish and mint… And to top it off it was very, very wet. You kind of missed my mouth… So it was very very wet all over my chin. If that’s how you kiss, I really don’t want to imagine the rest. No offense. What I’m really saying is… no… I would never, ever, ever be with you. Not even if you were the last man on earth. Which you could very well be. Don’t be like that Skylar—we can still be really good platonic non-tongue-kissing friends! Don’t walk away! Damnit! Yep… yep, he’s gone. (DAWN catches sight of a second male making his way up the hill) Thank sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph, he wasn’t the all that was left! There’s hope for the human race after all! … (gives the guy the once over) A lot of hope! (trying to catch the guy’s attention) You—You there! I’ve got some jerky with me if you want some. What’s your name? Tex?  That’s a nice name. You know, I think we might just be the last two people on earth… 

©2012-2014 Lex Vex

The Daily Puppy