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first communionTo Kurt Lee's previous piece     dedicated to nicholas morgan, or, emmetsvilleTo Kurt Lee's next piece

a killing

go beneath swaying wiry leafless branches
across vacant wheat sea
through brush bramble and blood thorn tufts
down winding crooked finger trail
overgrown with roots
amidst bobbing rose heads
along grassroots blue pain road
twisting up sugartree way
down skeletons finger crossing
about intermittent bluebell swarms
aside potbelly tree
through myriad colored falling maple leaves
sound windblown pines
stride across verdant tufts
moss blotches on the bone spur tree
under checkered black skies
and around the corner
pale ophelia floats

wake up 6:57 pm
skin cancer
noises in my head
disordered thought patterns
contents of bedroom
blue chair
crooked and rusted pistol i found on the train tracks
copy of bible
medication, effexor risperdal
buzzing in my head wont stop
need a long hard pull
radio, baseball game playing
the indians vs. the yankees, new interleague play
uninterested but fascinated
mustve been gritting my teeth in my sleep
two bottles of beer in the refrigerator
frozen fish
plenty of cigarettes
marlboro reds
i light one up and smoke it in bed
growing impatient, restless, must dissolve
must go see the woman in the reeds
shell bring me peace

restless, i get dressed
underneath twisting yellow red blue orange skies
i clutch my jacket to my body and proceed to the railway
signposts, nails in the jaguar condom telephone poles
i chew a piece of paper as i walk
body feels numb
screaming voices in my head growing gradually louder
buzzing, like an alarm clock
but im already awake?
it must be the streetlights, getting dark
passing cars
eye contact with a woman
she turns her head
probably could tell that im insane
most people can and are afraid of me
nothing i can do about that
gotta worry about myself and myself only
lost in a mental miasma
cant see the way out
clouds as far as the eye can see
no rain
no sunlight poking through
thank god no lightning

i walk onto the railway
and progress forward for a long walk after a sigh
of relief
do i have my pills?
i already took them
do i have my keys, my wallet, my cigarettes?
i have them, i am ok
i walk faster
the sky is watching me
the trees sway
maybe it will rain
the thunder will come later
hands are shaking
cant think strait
i need a long pull
when will my dealer arrive?

emerge into a closed area and look around me
more junk
always more junk tossed haphazardly aside
what today?
buckets, rocks, railroad spikes, smashed bottles
burst of energy
leap at a  pile of railroad tiers
lift one, drag it a few feet
pile drive it into the mud
another another another
circle of tiers driven into the mud
begin rebuilding stonehenge from memory
it stands
fall down
not to long ago
but soon
stand up
kick nearest tier
they fall like dominoes
walk walk
rumbles of thunder
to the small trestle
cross the street
my landscape
telephone poles
more junk
past over the bridge quick strides
stop to pile buckets on the rail tracks
stack them carefully
they look like doves
one here
one there
its important for this one to go here and that one to go there
dog runs at me
stops when i make eye contact
wags tail
not interested
piles of dirt
wander into the broken cat tail woods
weave throughout trees
to the frog pond
always frogs in the summer but frozen in the winter
the woman
fall at her side and cuddle to her
rearrange her shrine
rained last night, it fell apart
candles fell
dead cat i found still hanging from the tree
dead skunk still under her head
she wears a crown of thorns i made
open her eyes and she peers into mine
she needs me
carry her naked pale body from her resting place and lay her in the water
strip clothes
carry her naked pale body into the water
bath her
comb her hair
her wounds are already stitched up
the woman in the pond will bring me peace
finish washing her body
emerge from pond
lay her gently on the earth
get dressed
still a little wet
light a cigarette
go out gathering flowers
dandelions, bluebells, roses
collect them in my cupped hands and drop them on the body
the smell
noises in my head
i can hear my dealers footsteps
they sound like train whistles
stand next to the train tracks
can see the light
i can see the
can see the light i can see
just need one long pull
toss my cigarette
train coming passes slowly
run along side
grab back handle
climb aboard
legs teeter helplessly next to wheel for a moment
pull myself to the platform
hold on
noises in my head louder
just need one long pull to silence them for awhile
one a day maybe more would suffice
can really do well with this sort of treatment
train speeds up
clutch train
train going faster
grind teeth
eyes roll back in head
open mouth wide
try to scream
no scream
a moment of fireworks in my skull and i awake in a pile of my own excess 
blood dripping from my body pain contorts my face
stand to my feet it feels good silence i can hear the crickets i really can 
the noises stop. all i need is just one long good
pull and everythings ok torn clothes gash on my arm and it begins to rain.

wake up
7:22 pm
six pack of beer in fridge
i grab a cold one to take the edge off
restless again
can feel myself age
can feel myself breathe
the woman will bring me peace
found a new item in my room
a soiled shoebox in my closet
too scared to open it
the forbidden shoe box
ha ha ha
take my pills, fast before it gets dark
peer out my window
sun setting fast
mesmerized a moment
showered already
wounds ok
want to spray paint the ground today
to the spray paint store
on my way to the railroad
need another pull
the pills didnt stop the screaming
alarms in my head
voices screaming in my head
wont stop
shiver, cold, i need something
need something
dont know what it is
hope i dont get lost
another cigarette
its dark
on my way to see the lady in the pond
she sleeps in my reflecting pool
she will bring me peace

cascading over streetlights in the rain my feet pound the pavement
towards my peace and my reflection
the lady of the pond needs me
stop to spray paint the stones at my feet
on the sidetrack, quarries
winos sleep there
type of guys are different than me somehow
but so are the ones that run businesses
"death sleeps in bear traps
time is a warrant for the suns arrest
toolboxes filled with empty bottles
and dusty antiques dot the shelves
in my skull"
a flock a deer run by next to me
they all stop to stare
edge closer and closer
until they dart away
woman in the pond will bring me peace
walk fast
head down

pass the trestle and into the glade i move unfettered
the tentacles lash into my mind like slicing whips
i find her
i fall to my knees before her
i kiss her face
i kiss her body
i eat dead flowers
off her body
cards! war!
more joy?
theres no television in my skull
it always made me cry
carry her body into the pond
wash her
tend to her wounds
caress her hair
ive got something for you
what is it?
a ring, will you marry me?
she hesitates
put the ring on her finger
carry her to her resting place
light the candles
mount her gently
the lady in the reeds will bring me peace

docile skies flow over hidden plains
gravestones mark dead dreams
sourhead mash, and toilet feet waddle
soulless trees sway and mush
the clock has gone insane
what will you bring me
when my crops turn to dust
a leaflet
and a cobblestone
to drop in the pond
stale bread to feed the drunks and ducks
polite scoured
fear like bees spreads across the pain
eyes downward and tireless voices complain
ive made my way to the land of sour milk and oil
grinding teeth and eyes greet my passage and voiceless
skies scatter bent and rusty nails across a salted garden
rest in peace
hour of pain
you do not own me

wake up
sleeping naked next to the woman of the reeds?
what woke me up
it was a train whistle
my dealer has arrived
just one long pull will alleviate my pain
wait by the train tracks
here it comes
one more same as before i leap aboard
legs totter helplessly next the grinding steel wheels a moment
pull myself aboard
train still going slow
i clutch
i grind
it hurts
it wont stop
arm is bleeding
train starting to speed up
i let myself hang from the train
look up at the sky
passing to fast cant make out nothing
a tornado maybe?
lightning tonight! thunder! fireworks!

a ringing in my ears
sounds are gone
body numb with pain
this time i land in a pile of tiers
i sit shivering a moment
limp home
shirt shredding bleeding wont stop



wake up
how many days has it been?
i cant see the clock
i want a cigarette
i feel swollen
light a cigarette
smoke pours out
want a beer too
feel a little better
need more sleep


wake up
feel better
cant sleep
shit, im cut bad
tend to my wounds
takes all night
cuddle into bed
dreaming of the woman in the reeds
i have her finger
under my pillow

wake up
pain is back
now in body and in head
cant think or feel
so numb
the lady in the reeds will bring me peace
get dressed
just an old market town
i can feel my brain getting smaller
train tracks
where is my dealer
need a fix
just one long pull
collect flowers
the lady in the reflecting pool
she scares me now
she looks different
i can see her teeth through her face
must have done something
or was it time?
she scares me
i dont want her to be there
pick up a stone
turn away my head
im sick
i put the stone in my mouth
i chew
i chew and chew
i spit out the splinters that were once my teeth
i spit out blood that was once in my cheek
i spit out the stone
that was once in my mouth
and my dealer has arrived
the lady in the reeds will bring me peace
grab her body and drag it onto the train tracks
i lay next to her clutching her and sob
you know ive always loved you
i know
train whistles

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