Manchester

Origami Heart

“Manchester”
by Kishi Bashi

I wrote me a book
I hid the last page
I didn’t even look
I think I locked it in a cage
Wrote a novel
‘Cause everybody likes to read a novel

It started with a word
And it started pretty well
About a rare and fragile bird that I couldn’t even spell
On the table
I think I left it on the table

I found the last page in the sky
Cold and sweet, like an apple
I found you and now the story has its proper end

Oh hello,
Will you be mine?
I haven’t felt this alive in a long time
All the streets are warm today

I read the signs
I haven’t been this in love in a long time
The sun is up, the sun will stay
All for the new day

The very last breath of the hero of our tale
Would you only like to guess
Did he truly prevail
In the sequel?
I guess I’ll have to write a sequel

My favorite part’s when I die
In your arms like a movie
It’s tragic, but now the story has its proper end

Oh hello,
Will you be mine?
I haven’t felt this alive in a long time
All the streets are warm today

I read the signs
I haven’t been this in love in a long time
The sun is up the sun will stay
All for the new day

Oh hello,
Will you be mine?
The days are short and I wrote me my last rhyme
All the streets are warm today
I read the signs
I haven’t been in this love in a long time.

It’s been a long time

*   *   *

Yes, it has been a long time.  I am well.  I hope you all are, too.    Now put on your headphones and watch this video you dimwit dingalings!

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Angels in the Moonlight

Choo-choo.  I beg a thousand pardons you dimwits.  I’m a little late boarding the whole Valentine’s Day googly gaga (omigosh, grody, like totally gag me with a spoon) rushin’, racin’, zoomin’, boomin’, bustlin’, hustlin’, speedin’ love train.  “Better late than never” goes the saying.  Let’s hope so.

Below is a belated valentine.  It’s from a series of cards I designed seven years ago, which included hand drawn illustrations on the inside cover of cutesy hearts exploding from the eye sockets of skulls engulfed in flames and hearts being pierced by Cupid’s arrow, spewing and spattering blood from the ripped gashes of pulmonary arteries.

Yes, yes.  ‘Tis true.  I’m an old sap when it comes to love.  I’m a true blue romantic that fancies the mushy stuff.  Anyhow, here’s a valentine from me to you with hugs and kisses of the French variety.  XO, dear friends.  Much love to you.  001 I Goth You Babe

I stopped in the small, picturesque town of Saluda, North Carolina the other week.  Small, sure.  But Saluda has experienced quite a boom over the past decade and now boasts a population of 703, this according to the 2012 census.

I do believe I met about half the town as I went wondering about the one block main street, strolling through the art gallery, gift shops, eateries, and the incredibly cool old-timey general store.  I even got the pleasure of shaking hands and chatting it up with the town mayor, Fred.  Helluva man, that Fred.  It was a pleasant lazy, sunny afternoon spent in the small, southern town of Saluda by all accounts, I reckon.

While browsing through the general store, walking past the rows of homemade jellies and soaps and toys and candies and antique hand painted signs, I came across a section in the back containing about two dozen different books displayed on wooden shelves.   I didn’t recognize any of the titles.  These weren’t the classics, the Brave New Worlds and the Great Expectations.  No, these were little known books by local authors, poets, and historians that you’d be hard-pressed to come across anywhere else.

I didn’t have anywhere else to be.  I had all the time in the world.  I began picking up and riffling through some of the books, amazed to find that several of them had greetings like “Enjoy!” and “Thank you for reading this book” scribbled on the opening pages by the authors, followed by their autographs in ballpoint pen.

I read a couple of the introductions but one of the books in particular captured my interest.  It left me standing there holding the book in the back of the musty smelling general store, reading page after page.  It was a book called “The Sun’s Gonna’ Shine In My Back Door…Some Day!” by Charles O. Hearon, Jr.  The book is a collection of rough and raw, wild and silly poems and short stories, coupled by beautiful shabbily drawn pen and ink illustrations of smiling suns and grazing horses.  I had to purchase the book right then and there.  It’s a real gem.

Charles is no longer with us, but his words live on through those lucky enough to stumble upon them.  It’s not my favorite poem in the collection, but I thought I’d share one of his poems pertaining to love and loss and the likes.  It’s a poem called “Angels in the Moonlight.”  There’s not a date given for this particular poem, but it’s most likely from the 1920s or 1930s based on the dates given for some of his other poems.  I hope you enjoy.

Angels in the Moonlight
by:  Charles O. Hearon, Jr.

I see angels in the moonlight
I see my dead dogs in the moonlight
I see dead horses and mules picking
Cropping silently in the pasture
In the moonlight.

I hear wagons and freight trains rattling in the moonlight
I hear teamsters crack and drive in the moonlight
Long ago I met you in the moonlight in a dell
A brook and flowers too.

You went away into the moonlight
And now I go and wait for you
To come back through the moonlight.
You don’t come back for reasons
But you are there as close as the smell of honeysuckle
As friendly as the sand.
Funny stuff moonlight.

Thunderstruck

Thundersruck

It’s been twenty nights and nineteen days spent in solitude at the North Carolina cabin.  It hasn’t all been solitude.  I’ve met a few folks along the way, like the lucky son of a bitch I caught hiding underneath the back deck two mornings ago.  Lucky, because I didn’t knife him a good one right in the gut.  No good, rotten, trespassing, hill-jacked, creeping fool.

True story.  You can hear everything in the mountains.  If you close your eyes at night and sit still long enough, you can even hear the deep soothing hum pulsating from the magnificent bright burning stars.  “Hmmm-mmmnnn.  Hmmmmmnn,” they go.   You can hear the violent winds, the creaky trees, the chirping birds, and the snorting deer.  It’s quiet here at Lake Lure.  You can hear pert’ near everything.

I heard it all right.  It was 8:30 in the morning.  I was laid out on the couch reading a Nicholas Sparks novel, dabbing away at my welling tears with a soft tissue, when I heard a car idling and then heard footsteps coming from the back of the cabin shorty afterwards.  I clearly haven’t watched enough scary movies, because my first instinct was to go outside and investigate the whereabouts of the strange noises.  It never even occurred to me that the footsteps might be coming from a person hiding out on the premises, and most likely, were coming from a mass murdering psychopath who preferred to take his victims by way of chainsaw.

I walked outside and the foot-stepping culprit came out from underneath the deck.  He was wearing a woolen hat and women’s silver sparkling gloves.   He looked up at me standing on the deck above and nervously said hello as he made himself known.

I said hello back, complimented him on the sparkly gloves, and then asked if I may inquire why a strange man was hiding out underneath the deck of another person’s property.  The gentleman gave the completely logical explanation that while his girlfriend drove up to her house to get some stuff, he thought he’d pop a squat at my cabin, get cozy, prop the feet up, being that the cabin is usually vacant and he didn’t expect anyone to be home, and being that he didn’t want to take the chance of running into his girlfriend’s husband at her house.   He went into a long, unsolicited explanation of the triangle love story – the illicit wild love affair he’s caught up in –  including projections of how the story will end up.  *Spoiler alert*  After some trials and tribulations, he gets the girl.

It was a bizarre exchange.  Even in solitude, in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, I can’t seem to escape these weird encounters that seem to follow me around everywhere.  I think they call that “life.”  I listened to the trespasser’s heartfelt confessional, standing in my flannel pj’s and gave him some take-it-or-leave-it advice.  I gave him some other advice as well, and advised him not to hideout on my buddy’s property anymore.

His mistress beeped the horn once.  That was his signal.  I walked him to the front of the cabin, waved to the mistress in the front seat chomping down on an apple, wished him a good life, and the two lovers drove off into the distance.

*    *    *

It’s absolutely gorgeous here on the mountain even in the dull and drab month of January.  It snowed a few inches the other day.  A rarity anymore I was told by an early morning walker that I ran into as I was taking in a sunrise by the partially ice frozen lake.  I haven’t been taking many photos during my stay.  I’ve mostly been reading, relaxing and lending an ear to the occasional troubled trespasser, but I did put together a video and slideshow highlighting the snow storm.  Nature sure does kick ass.  Nature leaves me thunderstruck.

Lake Lure, The Tufted Titmouse and Other Non-Related, Small Town News

Lake Lure

Greetings and salutations from the boat docks of Lake Lure, North Carolina.  Greetings from the magnificent mountains, the breathtaking vistas, the celestial lakes, the alluring forests, and shoot y’all, greetings from “the dad-gum beautifulest, sightliest gem of a place you might could ever come a’cross,” as the elderly lady at the visitor center best put it in her thick, southern drawl – that is, if I heard her correctly.

I promised my mother I’d check in every so often to let her know that I’m still alive.  I’m doing a terrible job at it, I have to say.  It’s not easy finding phone reception or internet in the hills.  I had to drive 20 minutes into town and saddle up at a quaint artisan cafe proudly advertising free Wi-Fi just to write this blog post.  Poor me.  It’s a tough life living in solitude, all that peace and quiet.

Guess what?!  Did you guess yet, ma?  I’m still alive.  Yes, yes, yes.  Your son is very much alive, although the southern biscuits and gravy down at the nearby Huckleberry’s restaurant are simply to die for.   Unbelievably delectable.  They’re going to be the death of me yet.  That’s exactly what I told the overly chatty and almost-too-kind waitress as she came around to offer me a coffee refill for about the twenty-sixth time in a little under seven and a half minutes.  They don’t make biscuits and gravy in the north quite like they do in the south.  Not even close.   There’s no contest.

Not much else going on here in the blue ridge mountains.  Not much else to report.  It’s winter.  It’s cold, but not too cold.  The elevation gets as high as 3,500 or 4,500 feet in some places.  You gotta be careful when you go hiking in the winter, or else you’re liable to slip on a sheet of ice and plummet to your immediate death.  Don’t worry your little worrisome head off, mother.  You know your son is always extra careful when he’s out adventuring (HA! and double HA!)

Oh – I’ve got something to fill you in on, ma.  It was a full page spread in the local flyer called “The Mountain Breeze.”  I was leafing through the paper and came across an article about birds.  There it was.  Page three, full color and everything.   More specifically, it was an article about the Tufted Titmouse bird.  Never even heard of it.

I didn’t care to read the article.  Maybe if they wrote an article about bears or ravenous wolves, I’d be more inclined to read.  I continued leafing on.  There was a poem about canoeing, as well as several articles on fishing, people’s reflections on winter, a waterfall diary, a cartoon about Punxsutawney Phil’s nagging wife, and a post about the Lake Lure Newcomer’s Club that meets up once a month to welcome new guests into the area.  The Newcomer’s Club all looked to be at least 65 years or older.  Chances are one of them was the author of the article regarding the Tufted Titmouse.  I’d stake my life on it.  God, I love this place.  I love the backwoods country.

Well, that’s about it.  Told ya not much to report.  Just the way I like it, it’s been doing me good.  Here’s some photos of Chimney Rock Park from the other day.   The view from the top of the mountain is outstanding.

Chimney Rock 1

Chimney Rock 3

Chimney Rock 2

Chimney Rock 5

Chimney Rock 6

Everything You Wanted

Everything You Wanted

Wow.  Good gravy, good gracious me.  Blessed virgin Mary, blessed hallelujah be.   The pigs have flown.  The crows turned white.  The fish have climbed the tallest, towering trees.

I’m feeling mighty blessed at the moment.  Besides the fact that my friend is letting me stay at his cabin for an undetermined amount of time, I got a package in the mail today.  It was from Broseph.  The contents of the package are in the photo above, laid out neatly on my Martha Stewart bed quilt (no rude comments from the Martha Hater Nation, please.  That quilt kicks ass.)

The package contained the following:  a sticky note with an encouraging message, two waterproof notepads, a waterproof space pen, and an iPod shuffle complete with a dreamy playlist dubbed “Slice of Heaven.”  My brother custom designed the package by slicing holes in the cardboard and tied the items securely with twist ties and rubber bands.  Holy crap.  What an incredibly big, fat nerd.  What an incredibly awesome friend.  Thanks big bro.  Thanks a million.

The song you included on the playlist, the song by Clubfeet?  “Everything You Wanted” is the name.  I’m gonna go for a hike deep in the strange forest.  I’m gonna get lost in the swaying trees.  I’m gonna sit on a moss covered rock by the river.  I’m gonna turn my head towards the drizzling rain.  I’m gonna pull out the waterproof space pen.  I’m gonna write down my thoughts on the waterproof notepad.  I’m gonna play Everything You Wanted on repeat.  I’m gonna let the song wash over me.  I’m gonna let the rain wash the words clean.  I’m gonna walk through the forest.  I’m gonna close my eyes and walk free.