An Introduction David William Connors
An Introduction Contents I. Stuck Somewhere in the Middle Contemplating Life, Love and Maybe
Why. Dear, Etc… 7 Dear, Indianapolis Star Sports Editor Kissimmee Ode to Tigger Summer’s End Call It a Shit Show, But This is Indiana Never Ending Communion Man and a Woman II. Words and Beats That Never Quite Fit Brother’s Tunes In Retrospect Dear 90’s (What I Imagined It Once Was and the Reality of What It Once Was)
Nihil Sententia Collide Five Things I learned From Mitch & Eddie Totally Krossed Out
Stuck Somewhere in the Middle Contemplating Life, Love and Maybe Why.
An Introduction Dear, Etcâ€Ś You know who you are the nouns, verbs, adjectives, the inanimate objects Iâ€™m talking to you wind. The people, the places and things, eight siblings faces, Hazelwood, Lakeshore, Wayne. You know those moments, the moments that get stuck, the images that never leave, the ones that fall back in the edges of the brain: Two hearts on a shadowy golf course Brothers late nigh bunk bed conversations Memorized prayers and crucifixes Echoing of guitar strings on summer nights Pastures of green to run until dusk. Those moments where you take the long way home, and slow down at the yellow light to spend the extra thirty seconds at the light the with your future wife in shotgun Those moments This is an attempt to put memories in words.
7 The front door opens At our old house I was only 7 She’d been gone for the weekend Felt like the first time we’d been apart What do you want me to say? She carried me for 9 months Wiped my ass, gave me a bath I was a momma’s boy. The entrance way with my mom at the end Reminded me of a movie Only this was a mother and a son I was only 7 She had a bag in her right hand And her purse hanging off her left shoulder I ran up to her and jumped to hug her My head hits her chin She turns away with a shade of pain across her face And says, “honey, you’re too big for that” I was only 7.
Dear Indianapolis Star Sports Editor: I wish you would stop puffing Bob Kravitz’s ego with all his important, opinionated stories headlining the sports page. I read the newspaper because I enjoy educating myself on the events of Indy. Now, the sports section is always first because it’s gone in the hands of my brothers and found crumpled on the sink next to the toilet. You would not understand how crumpled and dried out it gets with one sitting. Back to Bob. He wants to go against the grain just so the readers (ME) will disagree with him and other readers (THE REST OF INDIANAPOLIS) will concur with me. He loves to be Hated. He loves to be the topic of hate circles around the water fountain, the cigarette break. He loves to bash on the Pacers, Colts, Hoosiers. I SWEAR ONE ARTICLE HE WROTE HE SAID RON ARTEST WAS RIGHT TO GO IN THE STANDS AND PUNCH THAT GUY WHO THREW THE BEER CUP. He is the paper version of Skip Bayless, who I truly despise. But then Bob goes and does some huge sentimental piece on Bill Polian and how he cried when he let Manning go so everyone will love him for a week just to have them hate him again the next week. All that I ask is that you stop putting Bob on a freaking pedestal. There’s a reason I never read the breakdown after a Colts game! Also, on Christmas my mom asks that you make the front page about Christmas and not the broken water pipe on 10th and Michigan. Sincerely, Readers on the Shitter
An Introduction Kissimmee Its rain and rains while the sun beams. Sweat dives down to the small of your back, In-between your shoulder blades it sticks to your t-shirt. It’s the second one you’ve put on within a lazy afternoon Peninsulad between a gulf and an ocean. If you tilt your head the right way, it looks like the amputee to America Just stuck on there, a touching fit Meeting dawn in the east before everyone else I barely got enough fingers and toes To count the amount of times I’ve met Kissimmee, yes Kissimmee She’s a sweet gal in the middle of the amputee Until late July rolls around, keep the humidity high and margaritas cold
An Introduction Ode to Tigger No, not a tiger too mild mannered for that. No, not tigger from whinnie the pooh not bouncy enough for that. No, she doesn’t speak English but she knows when I say “in or out” “Food or scratch” No, she won’t lie next to me when I lay around but she will lie around all day long. Yes, she does roam the streets at night And I do believe she is the queen of the cat street ring. Yes, she is the sole survivor And I do believe she is the last in the lineage of Smoky’s litter. Tigger, you and I have a mutual affection for one another, it is unsaid and this is the way we like it. We chill together and don’t bother one another Except for the few times you puke but I forgive you Tigger- You are my girl.
An Introduction Summer’s End We got our memories and scars in this sunlight that never ends, our shadows met us at labor day. We were so young we shoulda known better. Not even these souvenirs can help our ripened skin. Our bare feet felt the dried out grass as we found out nothing lasts, nothing lasts forever. Take a breath, breathe out our bodies can’t hold this in. Heading into the fall, falling out in the end, we both conceded and called our summers end. The summer’s drought reached our river holding on, our fall came so fast and seasons change wasn’t enough. Tall grass and late sunsets wouldn’t let us see that I hurt you just as much as you hurt me. We were so young, we shoulda known better nothing lasts forever in summer’s end.
An Introduction Call It a Shit Show, But This is Indiana I live in a house powered by heat, because the clouds put snow on my street. I thought it was supposed to be the other way round, you know, ground hog’s spring is abound. But no, the reversal is in set I feel the slush everywhere I step the cuffs of my jeans wet puddles of water on my step Indiana could be bi-polar, if outer space was solar. I was taught the fireball at high noon was the sun, you know, where you’re ‘pose to have fun. This is the place I was born this weather grows inside a thorn It doesn’t have time to warn I just want the sunshine blowing a horn Lake Michigan and Canadian wind stuck inside a van Let the wind bring in the wind and rain with an east side man Those fences ‘round the border can’t hold the heat down Out west keep your earthquakes from this town Blame Indiana again and again There’s nothing like life in wind and rain Cause you think the clouds done everything in vain Expect the unexpected with these clouds, put in a refrain
Thank you, North, South, East and West
An Introduction Never Ending You know that one time when we were younger? You were only 15, I was fresh off 17. Do you remember that time? Our eyes were so wide, they were so bright. Reflecting off each other’s eyes. The reflection of our eyes against the golf course backdrop. The setting was in place, the main characters knew their lines, and the plot was rising. It was the never ending story. What happened? Maybe it is the end. Maybe our wish to meet later in life was a dream that we needed all too badly. 17 was a long time ago. A lot can happen in 4 years. Everyone and no one expected us to be in this spot. What do I say? I’m ‘bout to turn 22 and its crazy to think where we have traveled. Without one another. The setting is in place, the main characters know their lines, and the new plot is about to begin. This is the never ending story. You and I.
An Introduction Communion Yeah, we came from the same Mum. Yeah, we hugged once or twice, she’s got the same blood as you. But don’t always believe her. Don’t run, don’t volunteer or raise your hand. But don’t trust her. She’s family. Go back to watching Power Rangers and avoid the bandana and yellow plastic baseball bat. Makeup is for girls but it’ll cover up the purple under your eye. Packets of ice freeze your lip, but it’s better than your bottom lip taking over the top. You got to speak in front of your first Communion Parents, kids, teachers, priests God. You’ll keep you chin down when asked how she led you around. Circle the house, hands out in front, eyes blanketed beneath green and black. She lead you into the bat… into that car. You’ll envision the eyes of the congregation staring at the makeup on a little boy, clearly put on by a mother with hopes of saving the day Your words that you so clearly try to pronounce and articulate will echo through the speakers and off the 30 something old pipe organs but none of this will matter. Your words will not be sound but noise. Like background music that no one can every fully understand and will not care too. Your words pass through the aisles, the 70;’s red carpet pews, kneelers, and people. They’ll 12
An Introduction forget the 1st reading you did. Your family won’t. They have to see your face with the purple and ice every day. They’ll remember. Yeah, so don’t go outside and say no to the game but don’t trust me, I’m family
An Introduction Man and a Woman I’m sailing around this storm of a lifetime. Looking for a wave to crash this vessel Looking for the rain and tide to take me under, and test our lungs cause I’m dragging you with me. I folded this paper map with holes at the creases, cause you said you had directions. You said we were safe. After our lungs and cheeks are flushed out We’re both breathing for air, searching, stuck, the waves pushing us apart reaching with outstretched arms Promise me a couple years down the road After we’ve traveled the rivers of our hearts the strong and the weak, the winding and straight. Maybe, our blood will change its course towards each other So we can take one another out of the deserts of our minds. We’ll go our separate ways And when we come back around Hopefully, you’ll be happier. Maybe, we’re not meant to be But tonight. After travelling the rivers of our hearts And societies cages in our minds After we come back around I won’t leave here without you.
And after all we are just souls of water and bones, Maybe love is just a temporary comfort for our eyes. Eyes the size of atoms in this miracle of a world, A miracle of power and surrender, beauty and pain. An infinite set of oxygen and daylight Will find the rivers of our tattered hearts. 14
An Introduction Back to one, a man and a woman.
Words and Beats That Never Quite Fit
An Introduction Brothers’ Tunes I was seven in the attic of my sister’s house. My red hair grazes the ceiling; the brown walls liked to keep close. A flat puff squeaked from the tip of the bell. My outstretched arm slides back and forth. Brian, my brother-in-law, lay in the bed next to me. That bed was too comfortable for its own good. Everybody wanted it. The pillows, the blanket, the sinking mattress. He’s telling a story about how he learned to play, he always has a story to tell. There isn’t enough breath in my lungs to blow this trombone. I always admire Brian who can. The numb fuzz on my lips distracted my breathing, distracted my tongue. I tried not to spit. Cause these lips would turn up a smile. I kept quiet with my errant elephant sounds. No one told me this rusty golden horn was too big for me.— Brian still marches with his trombone down all the street corners, miles away. I’m stuck here with this guitar, strumming the wrong notes again. He blows in South By Southwest, I strum into the wind on my front porch. He beats to the sound of Rain Junkies, I beat to the sound of echoes.
An Introduction In Retrospect “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth forever… The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to the place where he arose” – Ecclesiastes “Drinking fiction from sunrise to sunset Love affairs from France to Spain” There’s not enough love to stay There’s not enough to go Around. Darling, wine and arguments go together Darling, we were one drink From the end. As I lay in bed and sleep As I sit on the edge with blood and tears We were stuck thinking these drinks were enough We’ll parade until you leave without a care In retrospect there’s nothing here The Great War left us lost Left with missing members and letters Cognac and icebergs in our conversations We’ll wake up on repeat Cognac at high noon, a fiesta in the mix And affairs till fist fights Darling, let’s get drunk And call it a day, You’ll go break your heart And come back to each other Another day
An Introduction Nihil Sententia “This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.”
Whimper are the whispers of our memories reminding us of our shadow lands, Hollow are the trees that grow to which we track our lives’ against, Prayers follow in the steps of the cathedrals singing from the mosaic vaulted ceilings, Broken jaws slide in and out the mouths of urban factory workers, Prickly pear stabbing the smooth surface of nothing. — Nothing.
An Introduction Dear 90’s (What I Imagined It Once Was and the Reality of What It Once Was) I wish I grew up in your decade. 14 year old singing Black Hole Sun, puttin’ a bowl on my head and cuttin the hair, wearing faded ripped jeans, holes at the knees, flannel shirts, maybe a size too big, long dirty hair, with oil cementin it to my head and faded Levi jean jackets. I’d be a band like the airheads (you know the one where they hold up a radio station) and profess my grunginess by playing Beatles pop songs with distorted amps and shitty guitars. Drive round in my blue Chevy Corsica (the engine doesn’t start sometimes), and the shotgun seat wouldn’t open. What the hell am I thinkin’… I would never live in the 90’s. P.S. But I’ll take some of the music.
An Introduction Collide “That’s the only thing that bothers us. It’s the only thing that’s made us unhappy.”
We’ll play this tug of war You’ll begin to cry And I’ll look the other way I’ll try to hold your hand But you’ll cover your face No words Come to mind to say Step back from the light Into the shadows It’s perfectly simple you’ll see We just need to let the air in You see, it’s perfectly simple Hills like white elephants Crowd the space between us You envision days of golden And flowing riversides But I don’t want to be stuck With all of us in the brown valleys And maybe one day We’ll collide and have it all And maybe one day We’ll have everything again And maybe one day When the air leaves We’ll collide
Five Things I Learned from Mitch & Eddie All parents damage their children. Youth like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Parents rarely let go their children, so children let go of them. People say they find love, as if it were an object hidden by a rock. Love like rain, can nourish from above drenching couples with a soaking joy. But sometimes, under the angry heat of life, love dries on the surface and must nourish from below, tending to its roots, keeping itself alive. White, there was only white now. No earth, no sky, no horizon between the two.
The enemy soldiers scream and poked them with bayonets. I try to take mental snapshots as they march in the darkness. You didnâ€™t get it; sacrifice is a part of life.
Totally Krossed Out I once thought about wearin’ my pants on backwards. Jeans with the back pockets coverin’ my crotch. I’d need a belt though, 5’8, 130 can’t hold these husky larges. I stared at my red hair in the mirror. Wonderin’ if they’d ever turn into dreads or corn rows. I imagined plans of how I would sneak into my older brother’s dirt wrenched room and steal one of his Cubs baseball jerseys. Something bright and big to wear backwards. If I had the courage, the balls to fill these huskies I’d borrow a pair of his MJ’s, he had so many he wouldn’t notice. Then I’d jump. Throw my hands up and just jump, jump. Sincerely, Mac Dad and Daddy Mac
An Introduction Notes on Words and Beats that Never Quite Fit “In Retrospect” Preface is taken from The Bible and also the preface from Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises “Nihil Sententia” Preface and first word of each line is a word from T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Man” “Collide” Preface is taken from Ernest Hemingway’s short story Hills Like White Elephants “Five Things I Learned from Mitch and Eddie” Sampled all the lines from Mitch Albom’s novel The Five People You Meet In Heavan “Totally Krossed Out” Title taken from Kriss Kross’s album Totally Krossed Out
David William Connors