Die Writing

About a conversation

Posted in Uncategorized by erdaron on August 17, 2016

What did we ever talk about?

I remember so much from that evening. I remember alighting from bar to bar. The polished dark wood of bar tops with pools of condensation left behind by the cold drinks. You scammed your way into one of the places by telling the bouncer you sweated off the stamp. He didn’t really care, so maybe it wasn’t much of a scam.

We must have talked for a couple hours, and all I remember is a discussion of Catholic vs. Protestant whiskey, which couldn’t have taken more than a couple minutes. Not a word from the rest of it.Just the glow of the yellow lights, the cool wet air outside and the hot wet air inside. The crooked cobble stones and dodging the puddles.

There was music, so much music, but that’s just the nature of the place.

I remember shapes of words and inflections of our voices, the pull and thrust of the conversation’s current, but if I try to reach into this memory and grasp at the words and sentences, they all slip away like some dark lithe fish.

Knives in the heart

Posted in Uncategorized by erdaron on February 1, 2014

He sat down heavily, silently, and pushed a glass of whiskey toward the redhead, buried nose in his own. She picked up hers, sniffed, and took a quick draw. It was cheap and strong, and she didn’t flinch.

“So you’re gonna take me home, cowboy?”

“No,” he said, still without looking up.

“Your wife’d get mad, huh?”

“She would.”

She leaned back. Her clever eyes sparked.

“So what was all that stuff about then? The dancing, the drinking, the movie-lot gruff?”

He waited for the right words, waited for them to rise up out of the whiskey with the smoke. Then when he had them, he looked, and fixed his eyes on her.

“I have a great home. The wife, the kids, it’s all just as you’d want them, you know? If I’d gone back twenty years and wrote down what I had wanted, well, then today you’d walk into my house and see just that. And you,” he closed his eyes, “you make me feel the knives in my heart. Aw I miss it. Miss it, damn it. So I’d come here for this feeling. This feeling and nothing more.”

The lakeshore farewell

Posted in Uncategorized by erdaron on December 10, 2013

Aside

Who knows where the time goes?

Coolly

The frigid air embraced Gregory, crept up the sleeves and the pant legs. His hands were going stiff. He briefly chastised himself for forgetting the gloves, but couldn’t stay focused on the frustration. The feeling dropped away and disappeared. He looked along the empty embankment, which circled the foggy lake infinitely in both directions. Pristine white trees lined the shore. Somewhere in the phantom distance, he heard seemingly agitated voices. But he couldn’t concentrate on them either, and so he let them go. Feeling floated away from him, but something pinned him.

“I’m sorry,” he finally gave it a name. The pure white light of the sun filtered through the fog. It illuminated the park with clean brilliance, but gave no warmth.

“You don’t have to be sorry anymore, Gregory. It’s alright.” It was Virginia’s voice, he knew it, but couldn’t quite see her.

“I was so angry, Virginia, so angry, so mad.”

“I know. I know. I was angry, too. I thought we were through, and all I saw was this terrible void. I didn’t know it wasn’t the end.”

“You came back. We came back. But I just held on, I stayed angry, and I didn’t… didn’t forgive you at all. And then…”

“And then I died.”

“And then you died.” His hands were frozen stiff now, and he felt he couldn’t stand up from the bench. He let out a deep breath, and it formed a glittering cloud in the frozen air. It began to expand and thin out and then merged with the fog. “I was late, and I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright, Gregory. It’s alright now.”

Gregory paused and took another look along the endless bank. Then, with ease that was both surprising and natural, he stood up and walked toward the water. Then sheer blanket of fog hovering over the water caught his weight, and Gregory continued on across the lake, weightless.

The sparrow

Posted in Uncategorized by erdaron on September 16, 2013

Aside

My own lyrics for  the wonderful Chan Chan. The original lyrics (both in Spanish and in English) can be found here. I have to admit that every time I write one of these, I feel quite blasphemous. I only do this for songs I love dearly.

Most of my effort went into trying to replicate the lilting rhythm of the original song. The words should align with the music as before. I also tried to follow arc of the original song, from a wistful remembrance to a sorrowful one.

Along

Along Orleans, I go to Bayou,
Along Dauphine, I go to Marigny.

The vivid dreams I walked awake,
In cobble stones they linger still.
A gentle kiss of night’s perfume
And I am lulled asleep again.

A silver moonray and a sparrow,
Caught in errant summer rain,
Your dance of quickened florid silks,
It drove the little sparrow mad.

Find a lonely, darkened bar,
My whiskey prayer, it’s never far.
My hastened heart, I’ll stay a while.
Oh morning’s breath, don’t wake me yet.

Along Orleans, I go to Bayou,
Along Dauphine, I go to Marigny.

Two ways

Posted in Uncategorized by erdaron on June 3, 2013

Jake floated through the door, carried by the elation. Everything was as in a bright sunny fog, unreal, electrifying. Sensations of his physical surroundings were faded. Things seemed distant and woolen from his excitedly intoxicated mind.

“The usual,” he called out to the bartender, only half-aware of the words as they came out. He pulled up to the bar, eagerly leaning forward. The bartender filled a glass of whiskey, slid it toward Jake. The ice cubes clanked with a ring, the liquid gold sloshing around the tumbler.

“What’d she say?” The bartender inquired absently but dutifully.

“She said yes,” Jake replied. He could hardly hear his own words as he palmed the napkin with a girl’s phone number.

Jake floater through the door, aimlessly, as a body floats down a stream. Everything sank into a dank fog. Sensations of his physical surrounded were faded. Things seemed distant and woolen, his mind was hollow and numb.

“The usual,” he called out to the bartender, only half-aware of the words as they came out. He pulled up to the bar, slumped forward, heads pressing against the temples. The bartender filled a glass of whiskey, slid it toward Jake. The ice cubes rocked with a dull clank, the liquid gold languished and stuck to the walls of the tumbler.

“What’d she say?” The bartender inquired absently but dutifully.

“She said yes,” Jake replied. He could hardly hear his own words as he palmed the stack of divorce papers.

Heart as black as mine

Posted in Uncategorized by erdaron on November 27, 2012

Aside
The first time I heard Melody Gardot’s Your heart is as black as night, I thought the title was Your heart is as black as mine. It had probably been a couple of months before I realized my mistake (the song is quite popular among the juke box blues dancers, so I have heard it many times). I thought I’d try rewriting the lyrics to fit my misheard title.

Swish

Your eyes are alight,
And I’m dressed in white,
But your heart
Is as black as mine.

Our words flow like wine,
Holy songs of a shrine,
But your heart
Is as black as mine.

I don’t know why I felt so safe
In your angelic eyes,
But if I let you hang around
We’re bound for the flames.

‘Cause your blade may be sharp,
But my poison is quick.
Your heart is as black,
As mine.

I don’t know why I felt so safe
In your angelic eyes,
But if I let you hang around
We’re bound for the flames.

‘Cause your blade may be sharp,
But my poison is quick.
Your heart is as black,
Your heart is as black,
Oh, your heart is as black as mine.

Dance with a bottle

Posted in Uncategorized by erdaron on November 21, 2012

Aside
Haven’t written much here, but have been working on a series of short stories. I suppose all this meandering on here actually paid off :D.
Swagger
He is sweltering in the layers of his clothing – a thick frock, a woolen waistcoat, a stained shirt, a worn cravat, a moth-battered bowler carelessly kicked back – from the heat of the packed hall and the many pints of wine. The sweat streaming down his face glistens through the stubble of a few days and the thinning hair. The stocky frame never ceases to bounce and prance, jovially slightly off beat. The wine is on his fat lips puckered in a grin so wide it threatens to wrap completely around his head. The wine is in his eyes, sunk into the ballooning red cheeks, permanently enthralled by the parade of blurry lights and shapes zooming by.

The spirit

Posted in Uncategorized by erdaron on May 14, 2012

He stood outside the bar on the wet street. The unique bar fragrance of booze, tobacco, and sweat was slowly draining off his clothes. Hands stuck deep in the pockets, and shoulders drawn up in the cold air, he stood and stared down the street. The cobble stones meandered between aged colonials and dim street lights, dissolving in the shadows just a few blocks away. His eyes were fixed on the fuzzy darkness.

She followed him a few minutes later. The drunk air and the buzz of the music clung to her. She carried it along. She clasped his hand, he barely reacted, and she tried to follow his gaze. It was merely an empty and crooked street.

“Are you ok?” She asked.

“I came here looking for the spirit of this city,” he said, surprising himself with the revelation. He thought that in jest before, but now it seemed completely serious. “This whole time, I knew it was here somewhere, some place in this city. But now I can see it, just a block away.”

He paused. This sounded insane, but he also knew that it wasn’t. He could not really decide whether he was speaking in metaphors or not, but it also seemed irrelevant, like this wasn’t the sort of thing that could be neatly divided into “real” and “not-real” categories.

“I want to go to it, but I know it will just move on the moment I take a step. I could keep wandering these streets all night,” he felt, knew even, that if he did chase the spirit, the night would never end. “But it would just turn into more alleys, slip through more arches and shadows until I find some terrible end of my own. And I still would be no closer to it than I am now.”

The goblin poet

Posted in Uncategorized by erdaron on January 25, 2012

Aside

This song, it has me and it kills me.

Unhidden

The goblin poet’s words reached out gently to every ear. His lips caressed his future admirers across the room. His hands seductively measured out their shoulders even as the stage separated them. A cloak shrouded him. All that was present of him was the innocuous fabric and the honey voice. The sound wrapped the women in a warm glow of fresh love and turned them back into young and foolish girls. It was not the lyrics of his spoken-word songs that drew them to the spider’s web. The words were as a mask, concealing the power of his poems, the unstoppable force of his voice.

This goblin poet, this vile vampire spoke with confidence and foreknowledge that at the end of the night, in the welcoming shadows of the theater’s wings, he could brush by one of these women and she would be completely, abjectly his. By then, his disfigured self would no longer matter. The mere touch of his hand would send shockwaves of scorching fires through the woman’s heart. She would forget her plans, her friends, her husband… give herself utterly to this creature without regret or reservation.

The trysts were not conquests. To feast with abandon on their beauty was not a prize. To the goblin poet, this was the poem. The woman’s sighs, the aching lips, the scattered hair – they spoke more beautifully and more potently than he could ever dream. Yet in the end, he knew that though this was given to him – completely and freely – these hearts were never his to keep. These bodies and souls were given to not him, but to his poems, to the specters summoned by his words. The goblin poet himself was merely present to accept the sacrifice.

This would always  drive him out of the bed before the sun would rise. He would dive back into the night, the anonymity of empty streets, cloaks, and the horrifying physique. The goblin poet would leave to mix his tears with the bitter drink of a lonely and abandoned man.

That dance

Posted in Uncategorized by erdaron on December 30, 2011

They slid toward each other with a grind. There was electricity between them. The kind with lightning arcs snapping back and forth. Their movements were slow, dragging. Muscles taught, ready for a fight. The hands did not so much glide to their resting spots as scraped along.

The music swelled, ripped up its own strings. They danced. They moved together with the fluidity of a mad mountain stream – rough, torn up, perfect. Never breaking the intimate embrace, they clutched at the dance and each other, furious at everything that led up to this moment, thankful that this moment existed. The line between the music and their broken love blurred and dissolved. Breaths shallow anxious. Tears in their eyes.

The last note sounded off like an executioner’s gun. The ring hung in the air as the last of the dream faded. The world came back crystal clear. Painfully clear. Everything was a pile a bloody shards, and now even the last song had come and gone.