online literature since 2007

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

mi distancia pt. II

desde ahora se las escusas que despues usare como razones por las que cortamos

en una situacion asi
es la razon o el sentimiento que precede?

quizas sea un pobre idiota que no sabe lo que tiene

y aun teme perderlo

mi distancia pt. I

si algun dia llegariamos a cortar

no lo sentiria

seria simplemente
un giro diferente
de un movimiento ya constante

como un cometa que llego a orbitar tu mundo
nadamas para volver a lanzarse

nunca aterrize

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

if all actions have meaning then i would like to create the meaning in all my actions but i would probably never know the meaning of that action


yes i realize what you said

wow youre smart

what'd you say

i don't know who said that i said it



no its not really like that

its not how they said i thought it was

its more strange but also more simple

and you have to look it up in a book

but if you look it up in a book youre fucked



the time changed the other day

it was okay

i didn't really notice but it was pleasant

the clocks had to be changed manually

but the computers changed themselves


what if we all ate a burger at the same time

it would have to be a big burger

jesus would probably have to do something to help out

you probably wouldnt believe it

i might not believe it

depends on his technique


what is the point of numbers

just to count, really

counting is useful


why do cigarette prices keeep going up

think you know why

i can tell you if you dont

but i might have to look it up


yeah i am tired of the repetition too like you thought i might be

no im not implying that your life is repetitive


angry dogs are barking outside

police sirens just drove by



but its interesting how we never die

until we realize that we will


focus on something specific






the leaves changed the other day

i could tell that a certain hue of dark green had definitely become a certain hue of dark orange

secondary colors in tragic motion or something


lifted up my boxers the other day

scratched my balls

looked at my ballls

nodded to myself


does anyone know what lebron james' new number is?

i dont want to look it up and i can never tell when i see game clips


ending on an even number would be good

it would create balance


i stepped on every crack i could today


i think i am uncomfortable making connections


it feels better to wake up early

but it is okay to stay up all night


bananas are red if you are weirdly color blind

of course, i don't know anyone that is colorblind

over half of all females are color blind i heard

of course, 79 percent of statistics are made up

or something like that


everything was fine until i realized i was floating on ice

and i didn't know how to skate

i held onto a railing on the side of the rink and skated


what is a typical day like for someone else


what is the end of a day like for someone else


it is interesting how the word "like" has become so common

people must be getting very poetic

or at least conjunctive


i can't find a fitting way to end this

there are no perfect or happy endings

except in all those books or movies that almost made me cry


but i never cry really, i just laugh

Friday, October 15, 2010

all the food/drink i ingested today in chronological order

1x cup water
1x organic apple
1x thermos coffee
?x sip water
1x banana
?x sip water
1x salad [organic baby spinach, organic carrot, cucumber, organic broccoli, raw sunflower seed]
1x bowl chili [organic quinoa, organic black bean, tomato, green pepper, corn, chili powder]
?x sip water
.5x piece watermelon-flavored gum
?x sip water
3x welch's brand tropical-flavored fruit snack
2x cup water
2x bowl lasagna [organic tofu, lasagna noodle, organic baby spinach, zucchini, marinara sauce]
2x piece wheat bread with organic earth balance brand butter
5x pita chip with hummus
1x cup organic echinacea tea
2x cup water
1x pear
1x banana
.3x gt's brand gingerade-flavored kombucha
1x bowl cereal [organic flax cereal, organic 365 brand cosmic coco's, organic rice milk]
1x cup water

Sunday, October 3, 2010

smoking cigarettes
to get me past the blues
is probably
the quickest route to death
(or cancer, at the least)

inhale exhale have another
in madrid
you can smoke

bars/your room/your bed
not the metro
not the hair salon or the bank

but still.

i resist lighting up
while i vid skype with my mother
just because
i don't want her
to worry even more
that her only daughter
far away
isn't only sad
she's also making
terrible choices

why do we do the things we do when we know we shouldn't?

this poem is terrible
smoking is terrible
a terrible poem about terrible smoking

i want more.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

a poem to start a story to end a beginning

and i will take

your thumb

with me on my travels


keep it on a necklace

or in a glass jar by my bed


tell it everything important


when i give it back

upon my return

it will be

just like






the whole time.

i never left

you never felt me leave

i'm never gone

Thursday, July 22, 2010

zero-sum game is a fable saved for parasites.

do not fool
your american self we are
all subject to a still
monarch assembled
of beating chest
monopoly watch close
pull your necks upward look
upon the heaving chest of our
national morning, smell the arbitrage
eat foreign bound paper wipe your
face with crisp welfare
fucking indolent underbelly
awash with wasted expected
returns. pity

to cling dearly such
moth eaten puritan
toughness work on
you predestined body
you accounted soul

do not fool
your indentured self we are
all subject push a still
wheel perceived turn but
progress is our heels dug
deeper impervious human
capital, however has never paraded
so well dapper trademarks free
speech cellular the buzz among bees
never bothers the queen hears only boom and
bust opportunity cost you optimum drone
you, here's a heavy hand fleecing
autonomy accept the grip of slave wages is
death. spent

Saturday, July 10, 2010

nerves from before

you are
tall glass

i drink you


and always
for more
i can take


i will
drink you
the gallon

the consequences

of such
rushed and raged

desire (you)
to consume (you)
to eat to drink
to own to be
to grasp (you)
to hold
of me
as much
of you
as i can fit

even if i get
that when
the glass
you will be
the wetness
on the floor

the shards
that slice
the skin

the knife
that cuts

Thursday, July 1, 2010

i need to sleep
meaning i need to wake up soon
tomorrow i will begin on all of my goals
or if i feel lazy then i will begin the day thereafter

the lawn needs mowed
i mow it
straight lines and precision in the front yard
a more wavey and creative approach in the back yard

i am the infant of summer
born in boiling water
grown in a pot of millions of noodles
eaten with no sauce

jobs jobs jobs
talk talk talk
blah blah blah

Monday, June 21, 2010


slick and slender
sipping sour juices
from sourer fruits,
the storm inside the house,
the bee in the jar.

sterile squeeze
sturdy stammer
sticky stealthy stupor
surrender silence
squall swell swine
siempre tuyo
siempre mio
suckle slit seduce.

hammer the heat
hiss, hold, holy.
beneath the
crook of your elbow
lies the dawn of your pleasure.

hip hum host
hasten hither
here, how, hero.

resume, become.
resent, restore.
ruins, rocks, ribs.
rim, rum, run.

lust long luster
languid, loose, limb
(her eyelids pale,
wild orchids in a dark cave).

lucid, lake, loquacious, liquor,
lick her limestone crevice.

(a round stone in the palm of your hand).



floor fuck.
grapes, pluck.




Friday, June 18, 2010

poem from 'think tank for human beings in general'


i have come close to sucking my own dick
but have inevitably failed
every time

one gets so close, and then the pain sets in

it is like a kind of sharp spoon or something
digging into your back

trying to scoop out something that is not there to be found

"if only my dick were an inch longer," i have thought

but it is of no use

i have practiced stretching and i have read fiction books
about people who have allegedly done it,
but a book is not what is or was

a book is just a story

and so now i try to persuade other people to suck my dick
or give me a kiss
or sit with me
or talk with me
or walk with me
or something

and i do this while knowing that
all relationships are, to some degree, a power struggle

and that the power gets moved around from time to time
is what keeps things going.

an example of this would be how tonight
i wanted to see you so badly

but you had other plans with other people
or something.

i have tried thrusting my penis into the dirty cunt of power
and tearing it to shreds

but my penis was not large enough.

i have tried giving a piece of my penis to everyone,
so as not to be discriminatory or
hierarchical or

but my penis was not strong enough.

'is my penis inadequate'

'who will nurture an inadequate penis like mine'


this poem has been posted for promotional purposes in regards to the release of the second edition of the poetry chapbook think tank for human beings in general.

more information about the chapbook this poem appears HERE

jordan's blog post about the second pressing of think tank HERE

richard's blog post about the second pressing of think tank HERE

Monday, June 14, 2010

Poem from "think tank for human beings in general"

excuse me

when i was younger i would say things like
'i wish everybody had a video camera filming them
so they could see how stupid they are'

'stupid' meaning
we are hurting each other
and it is difficult to see it

but if we need cameras
to feel the weight of ourselves
we will only feel
less 'real'
like untagging your name
from facebook pictures
or getting 'obliterated' every night,
waking up with chunks missing
from your pillow

we should sit in a room
and not say anything

we should sit in a room
and let pieces of the ceiling
fall onto us, unflinchingly,
as our faces strip off
layers of themselves.

but if you want
to go buy cigarettes
i will probably make
the walk with you.

excuse me

for all things

i think i want


This poem posted for promotional purposes in regards to the release of the second edition of the poetry chapbook think tank for human beings in general.

More information about the chapbook this poem appears HERE

Jordan's blog post about the second pressing of think tank HERE

Richard's blog post about the second pressing of think tank HERE

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

10 poems from 'i am like october when i am dead'

climbing onto this church

thank god

carrying a giant rake with me to scare walking individuals


good fucking lord we enjoy the wheat season in michigan


reading marx on a bench in september in michigan
you are gone

for lunch i had peanuts

i dont talk much

the clouds


i am eating a slice of white cake

a bird sings by my window

the son of a bitch


i recorded a video for jack horkheimer on new years eve in my dads driveway and i forgot to email it to him

damn, i still havent emailed this video to jack horkheimer


god help me im throwing my neighbor off a building


i am like october when i am dead

a wheelbarrow dispensing chalk lines, that is how silent i am

there is my hand

i am like the killers of people


oh     you have a smock on  


the hymnal at my grandmothers funeral says ‘wives be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the lord’

five months ago i saw a video of a dog being thrown into a garbage compactor


mother fucker, i rented a movie and recorded over it with two hours of myself         

on the video i am shouting compliments at my family

i burn my car on purpose

its january

i greet myself at the beginning of a great career

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Syphilius Now

stepping closer to the middle of nowhere
no ravine or cliff in sight
angry that my only option is to drift
until I sight a ravine or cliff

I fear growing old and dying
I long to grow old and die

I can feel my brain shriveling into a raisin

I can mumble but I can't breathe

Thursday, May 27, 2010

two knots

the sick sauce of the sunlight
on the mustard of the ocean
was tempered by the twilight
of their heavy hanging minds

"deny the feeling
in your sockets
and the lightness
in your pockets
don't forget
to drink the water
with the wine.

don't deny
the looping juices
of her nectar
don't destroy
the secret chamber
in her breast
please give in
to her entreaties
and take her to the
smallest cities...
but never ever ever
deny her any treasure
for your pleasure
is forever her's to test."


two knots knotted
sat facing the horizon.

foam licked
the edges of their fingertips
while birds,
so white & grey,
flew overhead.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Poems Written on Adderall - 5/21/10

feels like i should just do what i used to do because i was smarter then


really want to write some poetry
just keep thinking of rap songs that don't exist yet


the armpit of my brain is sweaty
hairs needs trimming

visible deodorant becoming hard
and falling off


the hard cock of my brain is
ready for

the virginal vagina of life


the bi polar old clown of my brain
is quitting it's job at the circus
after thirty-six years -
sixty-eight years of life,
and starting over again

it's never too late to start over again


we are perpetually 'starting over' and
perpetually ignorant


never felt as good as
i feel now

or maybe i have but can't remember


sophomore male in pokemon shirt is not as ironic as he thinks, i guess


i'm the best rapper alive
i just haven't harnessed it yet


thought/wrote 'harnessed' in the previous poem
maybe meaning 'harvest'
or 'harvested'

keep thinking of a band maybe called 'blue moon' or like, 'october sky' and they had a song that was played on the radio maybe four years ago

not 'i hate everything about you'

but another song kind of similar that was just at a slower tempo i guess


gonna keep writing
gonna endure the study hall of life...


i got the lean connect


going to go help my mom set up for after prom

love my mom


video of me reading one of the above poems after drinking promethazine with 7up, ice, and a blue raspberry flavored jolly rancher

Monday, May 17, 2010

each day's work and activities brings a renewed sense of accomplishment
but nothing was really accomplished
and i become lazy
and i am discontent with the contentment i feel

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One lousy soap poem on the mirror
is all he never wrote,
and me,
look at his face through the hyperventilation,
documentary of his suicide slowly blooming,
how they made their applause!
How the they’s encourage the booze and the pain
to medicate their hypocritical contempt,
to numb for moments the lack of feeling in their lives.
Fuck off, seriously, fuck off.
I will toil the fields of language for you until my hands are blistered
And the puss fills my brain.
Seriously, fuck off.
You don’t want any of this,
you can applause from your velvet balconies and return to your homes
and fuck your lovers and use the emotion we paid for in teeth.
The early mornings are the worst, when the black of the night
sticks around until the afternoon, sometimes for days,
and the raccoon mask I wear is not some left over disguise from an orgy.
The only orgy I have ever attended involved me weeping and puking
and shaking the life out of me into my hands holding premature stars.
You ever been there?
I didn’t think so
These words, like all my words, will become your thoughts, for free.
And I give them to you.
And I hate you for it.
And I thank you.
And I weep for you.
And I pray for you.
Pray for me.
Seriously, fuck off. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

bad day in february

today his car died, forever
so i emailed him sexy pictures
i hope he gets home from work
looks at me grinning,
jumping topless in bed
and thinks "she really cares about me."

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Into Nova

Into Nova

there are the sneaks left at the door
of the wingless
                                    aero planes
            fleets of college kids
collecting pennies in dirty delight
American steampunk promises

roar in the legs of boredom

grown into clothes too small
stuffed in the bells
of the great stone fries
silencing our steps

into nova

one future to lose
just wanting to be that someone
can eat the dandelions

like butterscotch bottle caps who

thinks back and
because the tree rings
                        in our limbs
don’t show how starved we are

by the dominion
of compliance

Friday, April 30, 2010

Neon, Fish Tank Rocks

I’ve seen the men, alike, ragged breasts on a beautiful rib cage
I’ve seen the women, like broken camel knees

I’ve seen these bent backs of these creatures
shave sheets of grass from the city parks
and wear the worms as their veins,
the sheets as their skin

These creatures cross their arms and hold bouquets
of bottles with aluminum can tabs over their eyes,
some with parched tongues still
prairie dogging for milk from the sky

I don’t know death the way these lives know
the dirty hell of this heaven—
not a child’s mind where all the chutes
and ladders end when we are done

If, and these creatures know, heaven is the
return to a child’s mind, (head nod)
then I’ll join the ranks of them
wearing the filthy earth like hell

I’ll dig all of their graves when
I’m tired of talk about death,
wombs in the soil and blankets of flesh,
every hole I’ll fill with the neon fish tank rocks

because their coals in this heaven
are hot as fuck. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I don't want to write of the stars no more

i don't want to write of the stars no more
they don't crave the stars
the howls are tied to lead

i've made too many cry in the night

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Machine Gun Moments

He said over a few beers:
‘My name is Malakai Vacey
I have never been myself
for more than four minutes.’

‘Sometimes,’ he said, ‘he feared
his self out of Easter dress
Out of relationships with dying women
Out of books and the boots of
Bukowski’s Eliot’s Ellison’s
Characters. Out of the faces
and skins of those who died
and left their drabby suits
under the Christmas trees

Out of the living moments
Out of the slow rides in
autos full of white niggers
chinks fags and spicks
across the states and frontiers
and hills that whistle right up under the clouds.’

‘Out of innocence too much like a cherry
Out of a pruned boy only at 22,’
when he did say he could be his self,

‘A dick, with a liver full of spit—
ungrateful pair of eyes hyper juiced
on dull spirits and soiled lungs,
sucking pollen from the lips of angels.’

‘A lip, plugged with black tobacco slugs—
a smile that makes heroes kneel in
cracked dirt and cry;

an ugly dick, so full of distorted love
the only way to live is to burn and fight.’

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

the tugboat

the cargo weighing down the boat

hawks flying in circles above, lurking, waiting to eat their prey

the crack in wood, water seeking in

land is far away

the oars cannot defeat the waves

sinking ship, fish jumping in the boat

the fish weighing down the boat (along with the cargo)

the boat is sinking

letting go of the cargo and learning how to swim

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Moments of Salt

Here we go:
What will they accept when the mail is dead?
How will my fingerless hands communicate to them?
Why will I continue to eat?
If I am three quarters full of shit
that means I at one point had three quarters worth
of fine wine, food, and swallowed time.

There is no depression that tastes like
t. will’s ice cream
all the girls I meet talk much of ice cream
they talk of their travels and the small parlors
that served them and told them how cute they looked
and added to the baby fat around the bone of the hip
which fingers
melt like ice cream on the nyc july sidewalk
leaves the hands sticky and sweet

I wonder why they don’t crave corn on the cob instead
By the winter fires when their hips deflate
When im at their side wishing I was naked
a puddle of colored milk spreading in front
of the fireplace like it was july
smell the buttered corn trying to understand
and think of ice cream

so the girls think when their confidence falls
the worry creeps and the desire for ice cream
the small parlors and memories in past suns
line up behind the eyes

flutter, dip their chins and hide their faces in hands
mouths circled in superman blue
moose tracks, mint chocolate chip
sheepish little girls with full breasts
hips at a V
thinking a good fuck will cure the flask
of gender kept distilled and away
come that dip in strength when memories
of ice cream take the place of sons and lovers
taste tests and sugar fantasies

The most fashionable lesbian couple of Gramercy Park

They started off as roommates, and one said,
“Oh yeah my girlfriend is really like, weird,”
A police car sped vrooming down the block,
“I wanted to talk to her but I got fucked up.”
Brain so up and down, options like windows,
The scarf looked like baby, or animal.
I wanted to say, “C’mon, petite abeille,
feel confident and confidential,” you do not
have to give your name, but rattle your chains.
Say, “oh-kay, this is, over.” Sirens grow
closer. “This moment is washed, blowdryed,
but as long as I can take it I’ll survive.”

Meanwhile: Eat your vegetables, do your work.
Respect women, respect men, rock & roll.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

or naturally me

doctor i want to feel the angry bee
            scared and frantic in my summer dress
can i feel again and touch the new with my mind
            wax coat or oven with the finished apple pie?
may i be me and recognize my leg’s fleshy bulbous machine
            so i can stop writing like the woman with the water breasts
            who passed me on the sidewalk and washed her eyes over me
i’m afloat in my own skin and wish the chemical tablets i take at night
            would make me grow gills and fins and be caught      drown a body
of human delight

Monday, April 5, 2010

What I heard at the bar last night

“I’ll shoot that woman if I see him with her,” the short Puerto Rican said. 
“Si or no?” the drunk girl they brought said. They noticed how drunk she was and took sips of their own drinks. 
“Are you going to answer my question?” she asked.  No one answered and the barman walked away.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Consider April from My Balcony

The seagulls sound like
Doors opening over the sea

When I paint my chest
Like the Easter egg designed
In womb  I felt the pulse

Of church bells echo           
            In the sewers and bones
Of the city

My balcony overlooks
Jesuit house defaced walls

And lonely golden window
Lamps  I saw portals of priests
And sisters using tea with their
            Hands bleached and
Free from callous

I checked my sense of the
Order   the march   the pace 
The quantity of ants
            Filing into the sea—

The catalyst suicides of childish
Novas the depth of storage for
Indifferent ill memories

            I sketched for the tea party
The public sex I’ve seen in streets
The beards burned in fires of
Money and condoms the small
Mountains of pleasure and success
The carcasses of flattened gulls
            Fallen from the heavens
            My friends sleep inside,
A warm rat king of
College exhaustion dissolving at
Last  and I on the balcony
            listen to the church bells
ring and turn

The remaining gulls with keys—
Consider April from my balcony

This evening I use the Bible as the
Instruction booklet of the chords
Of giants gritting teeth beats the
Booms of St. Ignatius kicking
His boot against empty air

            Tried to build this door—

This door I cursive for frame
I take the wind three sheets
Covering lovers drawn out on
Haight and Ashbury to you
Allen to you and the salt from
Your eyes that turned your beard
From brunette to blonde when you
Dreamed of hot air balloons
Deflating above
            Greenwich night skies

            Every nail and board
Into this door
Made with the bread of pain
And the codes behind my eyes
Coursing from my blueprint of
            Veins and bones these
Fingers drawing the sketches
Of a gate for all to walk naked

At the foot will scurry
white pelts of rabbits against
The bare balls of the ankles
I am unsure if they will think of
Allen Hardy Jesus or me

            If they think of me
The way of the cypress tree
Let one thousand fields of lilac
And poppy candy
            In which the mystics are buried
Spread like acid on film

The mystics in their sleep
Will hear my footsteps
They will smell my sweat
And they will feel the pressure
Of my word like the finger

The door
            To building the door
That will open to all—

            The pallid angels with cigarettes
Hanging from their lips and a
Cancer spreading their wings.
            The annals of children waiting
Awake for the toothfairy who is
Left hung on the cypress tree
In the field of infinity

I keep building this door
For all to pass under
To see the sunlight behind
To see ahead
the moon
In the great star like an Irish car bomb
            The howls of the sinking
moon will be mistaken for the final
hissing of dying time

The dogs of romanticism chained
To fashionable pegs
Lurch and froth and choke
Trying to reach me before
I finish this door

My death is not inscribed in the
Book of Instruction
So if I shall die
If I shall fall before this door is made—

            I take the wood from the cypress
            I make the nails from icicles of our blood
            I find the glass in the delicate filaments of poetry
            I read the blueprints found in the body
            I build in the wall of saving grace

Finish the door
If I can not
Finish the door
So all may walk
So all may use the key given at life

Head held high to the portal of ecstasy

Before the flesh deteriorates and

The hinges are taken away

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Exponential Decay

I am fitting into the crowd.
(or maybe i always was)
becoming more boring, more bourgeois.
every new possession only leads me
onto a child-like hunger
for another.

What can be done?
My pants are ripping and it makes me want to rip out my skull.
My computer is dying and it makes me want to take a pill and sleep for days.

Who is this person I am
I couldn't name a favorite color
or a favorite song,
but I could name a favorite soda to buy at the vending machine
or station to turn to on the television.

I've lost my desire to write or think.
I just want to go to bed.

(sleep for four hours)

smoke cigarette

Driving towards the same thing everyday.
Driving towards nothing.

The world is filled with suffering
and such is my existence in it.

Do you hear me?

I would rather look at a picture of a cat
than understand a math equation.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Redemptionist

The church was large and modern so there wasn’t much wood besides the pews.  All of the windows were right under the roof’s edge, at the base of it’s massive pyramid shape, and a large cross, made of yards of white cloth, ribbons, really, when you considered their height, hung under the peak.  Locals of the town who did not attend service called it the Jesus Mall and visitors craned their necks in admiration when they drove by.  The church was non-denominational and larger than most college basketball arenas.

Once a year, two thousand people filled the church to see the Redemptionist, an event the AM station 1300 The Bread advertised as the day of the year to witness miracles that renew faith.  Many drove from all over the area to come and the side streets and surrounding neighborhoods filled with lines of parked cars once the lot filled.  You never really saw people walking into the church or gathered in the lobby.  You just imagined the church filled completely otherwise it would not be as big as it was.  The event, with all the cars, would also appear to locals and passerby’s to be the church’s most important day of the year even though nothing stirred outside the massive building.

A crowd filled every pew and folding chair in the aisles and many stood in the back of the church waiting on this day.  A sibilant reverence went about the heads of the people and the rich green walls.  The colors grey, dark green, and maple made up the colors of the interior.  The people wore suits and dresses.  Someone placed a white sheet over the altar table and a single mic stand stood in the center of the altar at the top of the three long steps.  This made the one think the pulpit would not be used at all.

Twelve men in grey and black suits came out first.  They walked in a single file line slowly to the front of the altar.  The short men puffed their chests out and the taller ones hunched their shoulders in their pointy suit jackets.  All of the men with blond hair had short cuts that soaked up the sun coming in from the windows.  The men with brown hair combed the top over into a part.  Everyone in the pews watched them carefully and waited.

A short, plump man came out of a door on the left side of the church.  He wore a pink tie with a matching fluted pocket square.  He also wore a small lilac pinned to his lapel.  The man walked in quick, sturdy steps and swung his arms freely with closed fists as he climbed the steps up to the altar.  He grew taller and taller like he had been crouched and his walk forward straightened his back.  His shoes shown a brilliant black, polished like the finish of a piano, and he continued up the steps.  The first platform step was large and many strides were taken to reach the second.  He kept his chin up and the thick eyebrows matched deep lines in his face, like tributaries running from the pools under his eyes, and the powder make-up made his forward unnaturally diffuse the light filtering in through the windows under the edge of the roof.  His socks showed when he lifted his knees to step.  Each step became shorter in distance.  He was one of the men with dark parted hair but strands of silver could be seen in streaks starting at the widow’s peak.  He took the last step and stood before the mic. He was tall, straight and he scanned what was before him with great admiration.

Many of the people in the audience shook their heads in some kind of agreement, perhaps at his presence, and waited for him to speak.  The swollen church stared at the man and the air grew thin like hot sea air and the walls stretched.

He spread his arms and embraced the scene.
“Amen,” he said.  He scanned.
“Amen, Hallelujah! the audience yelled.  Several whooped at the end.
“Amen!” he yelled again.
“Amen!” yelled back the audience and the whoops coupled with chopped hollers and barks.
“AMEN!” he yelled and arched his back with force and snapped back at the mic.  The church erupted uncontrollably and the people rocketed to their feet yelling and shaking their fists, leaning into the backs of one another over the pews.  The twelve men behind the man speaking clapped and nodded their heads up and down or shook them left to right.  “I come here today,” he said, “to show you, each and every one of you, redemption through the Savior Lord Jesus Christ!”  The audience responded to everything the man said with even more violent seizures and louder cries.  “I come here to you, to you today to show you the divine power of Christ!”
            They cried.
            “You come here to witness the terrifying love of God the Father and His Holy Son, Lord Our Shepard, Jesus Christ!”
            They cried louder.
            “I come here,” he yelled, he had begun to sweat, “to make you all witnesses of saving Grace! I come here to show you how God’s saving Grace blesses the good and destroys the wicked!  I come here to show you the sinner saved by a God in tears, by a God with awesome power that strikes the evil dead and sows the seeds of the Good on our scorched earth!”  He shook violently.
            They cried for his words.  He took the mic from the stand.  He walked to the left of the altar with his head down and sharply walked back to the center.  He looked up and said, “Who will be the first to let God cleanse you of the evil that takes over us, the demons that run our lives, the sins we commit and keep in piles around our hearts?  Who will be the first to witness the power of God?”  Hands shot up in the audience.  The man nodded to the line of men in suits. He looked at the ground and scratched his nose with the back of his hand. Three of them left the line and walked directly to a fragile, old black woman in the front row with her hand raised.  She was crying.  Her jaw opened and closed like a fish and the tears ran into her mouth.  She looked like a greasy old bag in a floral dress.  She shook a little when they helped her step away from her chair and she put her hands out in front of her like she was unsure of the footing.  They tugged at her and she made it to the stairs.  She hunched and became more and more hunched as she climbed the steps one raised foot at a time.  The audience behind her cried with praise.
            They placed her before the man with the microphone.  They were both tall now.  He held the mic before her face and she hunched over, as though she fought her purse from pulling her shoulders to the ground.  “What’s your name, child?” he said.
            “Rosemary,” she said with a worn voice softly into the mic.
            “Rosemary, what afflicts you?” he said.  He held the mic to her rheumatic jaw.
            “All my life, I had never seen clear,” she said.  He pulled the mic back to his face. 
            “Rosemary here is afflicted with sins that have caused her eyes to fog!” he yelled.
            They cried.
            “The saving Grace of God will rid her of the sins and out go the demons preventing her from seein’ God’s goodness!” he said. 
            They cried.
            The man handed one of the men in suits the mic.  He turned his back to the crowd and did something with his hands.  He turned back to the woman.  The other two men held Rosemary by the arms and one of them held her head back by the forehead.  Her neck bent violently so that her Adam’s apple stood out further than her chin.  She choked and couldn’t cry.  “Open your eyes, Rosemary, and know God’s Grace!” Another man in a suit, one with blonde hair, used his thumbs to hold her eye lids back.  The man speaking jammed his thumbs into her eyes.  He pressed hard and pressed hard again against the eyeballs.  Rosemary gagged a little and the men let her head free.  She cried and a sincere pain came across her face only for a moment, like a cloud across a slivered moon, but no one saw it.  She blinked rapidly and looked at the man.  “Tell, me Rosemary, what do you see?” said the man and he grabbed her face with his hands.
            “I see your face a' clear!” she said and began crying.
            “I said, tell me what you see!”
            She was choking on her breathes and looked more in pain than in a state of joy.  “I seen God and the clear of His Earth!” she managed and buried her hands in her face.  The man turned to the audience with a red face and said, “I give you God and His Grace!”
            They cried and cried.
            The three men guided the crying woman off the altar to a door to the back left.  Other people in suits stood to receive her.  She was crying uncontrollably.  They closed the door behind her.  Another man opened a door in the room to a small parking lot behind the church.  “Thank you, Rosemary,” said one of them and they shut the door.  The man inside could be heard calling into the mic.
             That night Rosemary went home and counted everything for her family.  She stood ten feet from the fireplace and counted the number of bricks across the mantel.  She counted fifteen peas on her plate at dinner.  At bedtime, she counted the beads of the Rosary without touching them.  She fell asleep and dreamt of many vivid images.  She woke next morning and opened her eyes.  They felt like they had glue in them.  Her eyes were red and when she rubbed them she felt something shift under her eyelids.  The days went on and her eyes hurt more and more.  Eventually the world was as blurred just as bad as it had been before.  No one told her.  She waited for the next year.