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fictionary… 8 megapixel artist… bloody awful poet.

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Long Beach my Long Beach

A post, in pictures, of my adopted home.

Long Beach, California.

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PALM TREES HOLDING UP CLOUDS… Pacific Coast Highway near 2nd Street.

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HALLOWEEN MOON… Redondo Avenue near 20th Street.

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CITY LIGHTS – LONG BEACH TO DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES… Signal Hill.

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BACK ALLEY… 4th Street near Cherry Avenue.

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THE PHOTOGRAPHER… Home.

 

 All photographs © Copyright 2017 William S. Friday 

 

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Living the Life

Day 3 of Nano Poblano, and the idea of a morning teleconference with authors was made just a little better with a proper writing prompt. 

Open My Mouth

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“Open my mouth with yours”,

he whispered,

before her lips parted,

and she slid her soul inside him.

“I have a dirty mouth”,

she whispered in return.

“Then there will always be truth in your kisses”,

he answered.

Before the distance between them was no more.

 

Worlds colliding. 

Stars born then dying. 

Lights fading. 

Fears abating.

Hunger raging.

Salivating.

Lives in need,

Culminating.

Insanity dissipating.

No more anticipating.

Each the other’s cure.       

 

“Open my mouth with yours”,

she whispered,

before their lips parted,

and their souls were at home inside each other. 

“You have a dirty mouth”,

he whispered in return. 

“Then there will always be truth in my kisses”,

she answered. 

Before the distance between them was no more.

 

© 2017 William S. Friday

Breathing

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I don’t overshare.

Yes, I have thoughts.  Yes, I have feelings.  No, I don’t put them out there, all heart on my sleeve, for the world at large to see and sift through.  I had that, in no uncertain terms, kicked outta me years and years ago by someone I loved, and that was enough for one lifetime.  Of course now, it’s taken as a sign of unwillingness on my part to be intimate, but whatever.  It’s my sleeve, and I’ll leave it bare if I want to.

A while ago, I mastered the art of Vaguebooking, but was told, in equally certain terms, that behavior like that only alienates folks from getting to know the real me, but for me, it’s easier to speak the truth I know people want to hear, or just say nothing at all.  Again, the feelings are there, I’ve just been conditioned to keep them to myself.

It doesn’t make for many friends or lovers, but I’ve become reconciled with that, believing, until recently, that when it comes to pain in the heart places, less is better.

Yeah, I said “until recently”.

See, I’ve been going through a Fuck Ton of things in the last year, and thought I could poet my way through them.  Thought I could silent my way through them.  Thought I could Vaguebook my way through them.    

I’ve been going through a Fuck Ton of things in the last year, and I had to finally say something.  The only way I know how.

After the fact.

 ***

A friend of mine, a really good friend, recently told me something that, in the moment, froze my bones.  That something was,

“With change comes sacrifice.”

I didn’t say it in that moment, but I truly hated those words.  Things had been changing so rapidly in my life that the last thing I wanted to hear was that, with all this change, I was going to have to “sacrifice” something or somethings I still held onto like a cheap life jacket after the leaky boat sinks.  I was barely hanging on as it was, and NOW comes sacrifice?

***

On a seemingly unrelated note, a few weeks before this, I had begun the practice of spoken affirmations.  Not the kind you might think, but the kind that only I would think to practice.  Notice I did not say positive affirmations.  I began the practice of negative affirmations.  With phrases like,

“I wish I had never met you.”

“I need to get you OFF of me.” 

And most recently,

“You’re somebody else’s problem now”. 

Whenever I began to feel the sink of sadness begin to drag me to the hell of my own dark mind, I would invoke those, and other phrases.  These negative affirmations became my talismans against the feelings that kept me from moving.  They allowed me the freedom of expression that Vaguebooking never could.  They created in me the ability to breathe.  Not in, but out.  And this was important for me to understand, because, in the world of breathing, you learn quickly that your life is only as good as your next breath.  And if you spend your life holding one breath, that breath just might kill you, because you have to breathe out to breathe in the next breath, and the next, and the next.

You have to sacrifice that breath if you ever hope to have another.            

So in my mind, I did.

And shortly after that, I had me a day.  The kind where you wake up one way, and if you just keep breathing, it ends different than you thought it would.

You see, I woke up holding my breath.  Then sometime during that day, I sacrificed that breath for the promise of the next breath, and the next, and the next.  And the words in the picture at the top of this page were that day.  Poeted through.  With the promise that there could be more than just holding my breath, waiting for the next breath to come.

***

Somewhere on Facebook, maybe a little, but not in a way I think will be held against me, I posted these words, and Instagram posts, at the end of that day,

“Today, I wrote myself all the way through a sadness that has hung on me like grave clothes since last fall. These are the trilogy of Instagram posts that were the path for those feelings to find their way out…”

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***

There is no snappy conclusion to this post.  One that ties up all the loose ends of all the thoughts I’ve just unloaded on you who read this.  It’s like life, I guess.  It’s just a series of breaths that keep you going along the way to more life, and the next breath, and the next, and the next.  And now that I’ve finally let go of that one breath I’ve held for so long, sacrificed it for the change to come, I know I’m still breathing. 

And that’s living.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Ray Bradbury, Albert Camus, and Me

shadow lines

I seriously just had the most amazing experience.

Reading.

First time I can ever remember a story becoming alive to me from the printed page.  Full of colors, and smells, and stars. 

Then, it merged into another story I had read, elsewhere.  Full of heat, and death, and regret. 

And the two stories became what I felt I’ve been living since I don’t know when.

That’s as deep as I’ve been in a while.

And I swear I have smoked no peyote.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

I Dreamed

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I took a nap. 

I dreamed. 

Something good happened. 

I woke up. 

I wasn’t there.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Six Tacos

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Today, I ate six tacos from Del Taco, and watched a movie that I wished had been about my life.  Also, I considered day drinking, but there was company in the downstairs, and I didn’t want to have to explain to anyone why I was crafting a boilermaker at 2:54 in the afternoon.  The movie was about a child musical prodigy, and his college age summer nanny.

And before you think that thought out loud, no… not because I have a fantasy about that sort of thing… although, hot nanny… but because I wish I had a childhood memory I held dear that didn’t involve loneliness, or being an outcast. The way the boy felt in the movie.

The way I feel now.

Over the previous bunch of months, in both my poetry and my blog posts, I’ve been telling the folks who read me that I was changing my life.  Changing it for the good.  Cutting the ties that held me to the old life…the job and other questionable choices… and I did.  Except, I realize, that the one thing I brought with me in all the changes, that I have not yet changed, is me.

So now, after all the changes, it is time for me to change me.

Changes begin the moment the first one happens, like eating six tacos from Del Taco, or stumbling upon a movie you wished you’d lived, decades before.  There’s a part in the movie where the boy and his nanny talk about past choices… hers… and the possibilities for the future.  And since I’ve already lived my past, it all made me think what those possibilities will be.  And to be truthful, I don’t know what they are yet.  But I know now that they aren’t as far off as I once thought they were.  They are as close as a story I wished I’d lived.  They are as close as six tacos from Del Taco.

They are here. 

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Green Grass

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Silence,

the green grass upon which

every dream of summer rests,

to wither,

lost for seasons,

burnt,

then cold,

unremembered,

until awakening in the

nightmares of another spring.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

No Lie

 

window

One thing you learn as a writer, if you tell yourself the truth, is that writers are really good liars.  And I am a really good writer.

No lie.

I’ve been moved into the new place for a week now, and I don’t think I can handle it.  I know what all my online posts looked like after I got here.  All Zen and peaceful, with a nod toward some kind of “I found myself” vibe since I arrived.  As I write this, there’s a soft breeze coming through my windows with the approach of sunset.  I can see Long Beach airport in the not too far off distance.  I hear birds sing in the next-door neighbor’s trees.  On the quiet street below, a man walks his dog, and the two of them move over the fresh asphalt as if they were walking on green grass in a park.  Idyllic is the first word that comes to my mind. 

Idyllic, if you’re raising kids, or retired, or a lot of other things that I am not.

Idyllic.  And I fucking hate it.

Maybe because, for the first time since I turned my life over, originally to the chaos of separation and estrangement, then to the disillusion of love found and lost, and finally to the desperation of intention and the desire for something more, all that’s left for me to feel is nothing. 

And it turns out that is the last thing I want to feel.

I thought, with all the change I manipulated and moved myself into over the last few months, I would feel that new direction I was aching for.  Feel the purpose that comes with a best laid plan, conceived and achieved.  Feel everything coming together for the first time in the entire time I’ve been alive. 

Just… feel.

One thing you learn as a writer, if you tell yourself the truth, is that writers are really good liars.  And I am a really good writer.

No lie.

At least that’s how I feel.

 

© 2017 William S. Friday

Forty-Eight Beats Per Minute

pick me up

I woke up two hours before my alarm.  The TV was still on, but barely audible, and it wasn’t the thing that woke me.  There was a dream.  There is always a dream. 

I had three messages on my phone from three different people, still accustomed to my old hours.  I’m not up all night anymore.  I’m just as likely now to fall asleep watching a movie before I know I’m even sleepy, and be up before the sunrise, before my brain knows what time it really is.

The only thing that is the same in my very different life is the coffee.  Except now, that first cup, and the time it takes to consume it, is as sacred as the silence that surrounds me as I drink.  Now, the only sounds that keep company with me are the clock on the wall behind my head, my nearly silent breathing, and, if I’m truly still, the slow beating of my heart.         

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

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