Friday, December 01, 2017

The Properties of Dust: Love Poems

Crepuscular Rays. Eleven Mile Overlook. Deschutes National Forest. Oregon. August 18, 2012.


All my poems are love poems
scribbled on damp,
whiskey stained paper
in one dive bar or another

On cocktail napkins
or coasters, pulled
from underneath my third glass,

Floating in a lost hour
found somewhere on
the long drive towards
my empty home.

And I should be there
or there or there
again, but I stop again
on the way home,

Climbing slippery stone steps to
the top of the castle-like tower,
smelling the rain, feeling
the cold winter kiss

Blown by the constant freezing wind
to my skin.

Under the tower, a dead volcano
thrusts us up, exposed, into the storm
but I pull that soggy napkin
from my pocket anyway

And I try to write another verse
before my paper is ruined
by the weather.


Rocky Butte.  Portland, Oregon. c.2008

The Properties of Dust

The Properties of Dust was a small book I put together in 2005 for a desktop publishing class at Portland State University. Many of these pieces were written specifically for the book project, and the rest date back to as early as 1990.  The pieces were accompanied by a photo or two in the original book, but, in most cases, I am using different, more recent, photos with this series of posts.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.
Love Poems


Paulina Peak & Camper. Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Oregon. August 17, 2012.


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A. F. Litt on vocal.media https://vocal.media/authors/a-f-litt


Website


The Properties of Dust: Lair

Fremont Troll. Seattle, Washington. August 13, 2012.

Now we are in the lair,
the den, the bed
where darkness lies down to rest
unseen,

Where the strange exhaust of unnatural
pores lingers in the shadows
unseen...

To breathe the air here,
to take inside that bitterness,
is to fill up and clog arteries
with a hundred twisted desires,
with a thousand warped urges.

With the sounds of traffic overhead,
our hearts beat and our minds bend
to that slow madness.

Here, where even billy goats
smell fear and run away,
we recognize the troll
sleeping in concrete
behind us.


Under the Burnside Bridge. Portland, Oregon.  October 6, 2011

The Properties of Dust


The Properties of Dust was a small book I put together in 2005 for a desktop publishing class at Portland State University. Many of these pieces were written specifically for the book project, and the rest date back to as early as 1990.  The pieces were accompanied by a photo or two in the original book, but, in most cases, I am using different, more recent, photos with this series of posts.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.
Lair
Love Poems


Fremont Troll. Seattle, Washington. August 13, 2012.


If you appreciate posts like this, please consider becoming a monthly subscriber through Patreon!
Visit my Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/aflitt) for more information.

A. F. Litt on vocal.media https://vocal.media/authors/a-f-litt


Website


Fred G. Redmon Memorial Bridge, I-82. Near Selah, Washington. May 2008


Trees Under The Bridge - Fremont Bridge. Portland, Oregon. April 2, 2012. 


Cape Perpetua, Yachats, Oregon. July 2, 2011

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Properties of Dust: After the War

Mesa Verde National Park.  Colorado.  May 10, 2016 - www.aflitt.com/mesaverdenp

We were always at our best
when staring into the abyss together,

And we drank wine and ate bread
for the last time together;

laughing a little,
crying a little
as the kettles were overturned
against us,

as our statues were pulled
to the ground.

We did not fear
the burning red skies,
lit by a thousand fires,
as the kettles became drums
beating out fresh charges
against us.

We did not feel fear,
but I do remember our pride…

We knew them as children,
they know us now as men.




The Properties of Dust

The Properties of Dust was a small book I put together in 2005 for a desktop publishing class at Portland State University. Many of these pieces were written specifically for the book project, and the rest date back to as early as 1990.  The pieces were accompanied by a photo or two in the original book, but, in most cases, I am using different, more recent, photos with this series of posts.

1.

2.

3.

4.
After the War

5.
Lair
Love Poems

Balcony House. Mesa Verde National Park. Colorado. May 10, 2016 - www.aflitt.com/mesaverdenp


If you appreciate posts like this, please consider becoming a monthly subscriber through Patreon!
Visit my Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/aflitt) for more information.

A. F. Litt on vocal.media https://vocal.media/authors/a-f-litt


Website

The Properties of Dust: Home

Portland After the Storm - April 2, 2011 - www.aflitt.com


“Can you hold on for a moment? Let me run up and make sure the key still works before I drag my crap out into this soup.”
“No problem,” the driver said as John opened the door and let himself out into the rain. It was really coming down; an unusual mid-summer downpour and the clouds held their burden until the cab pulled up to the house, of course.
Fortunately, the keys still worked and shortly the suitcases were hauled inside, the driver was paid off, and John found himself dripping on the living room’s hardwood floor, wondering what came next. He looked around and found that the room looked the same, minus a few knickknacks whose absence he was thankful for. He sniffed the air and found it to smell fresh and clean. Somehow he expected it to be musty and dusty and...
Neglected? But it wasn’t.
His eyes landed on the answering machine sitting on an end table next to its phone, under the lamp that he’d inherited from his grandmother years before. On a whim, he wandered over to it. He knew it was too soon to expect any messages on this machine, but he also knew that its indicator light quit working years before, so he pressed the button... Just in case...
Of course, the tape was blank.
He pressed the machine’s outgoing message button, but no voice was to be heard, just some clicks. He opened up the lid and saw that the message tape was gone. He tried to remember what the missing tape announced, but he couldn’t. He made a mental note to pick up a new micro-cassette and then promptly forgot about the machine and the missing tape entirely, sucking in a deep breath and moving on.
Not knowing what to expect, he ventured around the corner into the kitchen. Though he knew that there had to be items missing, he couldn’t place what was gone. All the appliances, mostly wedding gifts, were still on the shelves. His mother’s china still lived in the cupboards along side a few older, battered pots and pans. He opened up the fridge and it was empty except for a strange stain in the crisper. The pantry proved to be barren as well.
So be it, he thought. There’s a grocery store right up the block and he didn’t expect to be cooking much anyway.
Retrieving his bags from the living room, he ventured upstairs to the bedrooms. He dropped his things at the top of the stairs; the junction of three doorways. Seeing that, as expected, Katie’s room was completely empty, he drug his bags into the master bedroom. A couple blank spots on the walls in there, otherwise it was the same. Exactly the same, but maybe a little less cluttered.  Like the rest of the house, it was too clean. It felt more like a hotel room than home.
Opening up the closet, he found it almost empty. Some old clothes of his, mostly stuff he hadn’t worn since college, stuff he hadn’t bothered packing... But the smell in there, that brought back memories. Though there were no shoes left on the floor, the scent of leather lingered, along with the faint scent of perfume...
John turned away and left the room, wandered past the stairs and into the bathroom. Same curtain blocking off the tub. The same fuzzy covers warming the cold porcelain of the toilet. But the counter around the sink looked naked, his toiletries still packed, the rest gone... Worse was the institutional smell of bleach masking any lingering hints of the fancy soaps and oils that used to live there. There were no human smells. Just the smell of cleansing and the smell of rain...
The small window in the corner was left open. Suddenly, in that room that had been so completely sterilized that the air was barely breathable, John found himself suffocating, desperate for the fresh, rain-washed air outside. Kneeling down before the open window, gulping in many long, slow breaths, listening to the gentle drips from the overtaxed gutters, rocking gently as if countering the rolling lullaby of waves, he really knew for the first time, truly, that it wasn’t just knickknacks, clothes, pictures, and scents missing from the house. It was missing all that came before...
After a few minutes, feeling the cold air against his face, he opened his eyes. He opened his eyes and saw the row of sea glass lying on the windowsill. The glass that they used to look for on their long walks at the ocean, clinging to each other, whispering of the future... How many years had it been since their lives had seemed so uncomplicated? Before the house, before the vows, before Katie... Katie, who as far as they could tell, was made in that very room.
But those were bad thoughts. Instead, John just stared at that line of little unformed blobs of color on the sill and tried not to think of what was lost. It was then that he noticed that one of the carefully arranged artifacts was missing. A screen secured the window, so it couldn’t have fallen out, no... There it was, down in the corner, next to his right knee, next to a plain, gold ring. It was his ring.
It was their worst fight ever. It was their last fight ever. How did it start? Who knows? After all, it didn’t really start; it was just another flare-up in their long battle... But that time, it was more. It went too far.
John remembered tearing the ring off of his finger and throwing it. He remembered saying words that, usually, he only half felt and barely meant, but that night all the daggers were sharpened and the words cut too deep.
He never wondered where his ring landed until he found it abandoned in the corner, the only dusty corner in a sterilized room. Intentionally left behind, he could see how carefully she cleaned around the space the ring occupied, leaving it undisturbed.
The rain moved on and the skies cleared. The air was clean, rinsed of the dust and the exhaust of the city. The sky became bright and the sun filled the house with light. John unpacked his bags and then sat in Katie’s room for a long time, thinking of the time he’d spent there with his daughter.
Eventually he got hungry and soon he found himself standing out on the sidewalk in front of the house, clutching a small bag that held a can of soup, a box of crackers, a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of soda. He found himself standing in front of the house staring at its familiar structure and its overgrown yard.
That yard... She’d loved gardens but had no green thumb. He’d promised her a castle surrounded by a garden paradise. After he left, that paradise had gone to seed.
John dropped his purchases on the stoop and wandered through the gate at the side of the house to find a brown wasteland in the back yard. Where the front yard had been watered and allowed to remain green and to grow, the back had been abandoned, left to die under the summer sun. The rains earlier that day arrived too late. Everything back there was dead.

Opening up the small tool shed in the back corner of the yard, brushing away the spider webs, he found a shovel. Starting in that rear corner and not stopping until long past dawn, John spent the night turning the dead stalks of the old garden under the earth. Not stopping until all the waste had been cleared away, and the bare earth was ready and waiting to be planted again.



Kali, 2008 - www.aflitt.com


The Properties of Dust
The Properties of Dust was a small book I put together in 2005 for a desktop publishing class at Portland State University. Many of these pieces were written specifically for the book project, and the rest date back to as early as 1990.  The pieces were accompanied by a photo or two in the original book, but, in most cases, I am using different, more recent, photos with this series of posts.


1.

2.

3.

4.
Home
After the War

5.
Lair
Love Poems


Kissed by the first caress of winter...  Gresham, Oregon.  -  November 14, 2017 - www.aflitt.com


If you appreciate posts like this, please consider becoming a monthly subscriber through Patreon!
Visit my Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/aflitt) for more information.

A. F. Litt on vocal.media https://vocal.media/authors/a-f-litt


Website