Dawn of The Dragons

Invictus

Sonbather

The Snowman

Black Lantern

ADRIAN VINO

She sat against the window with that old, tattered book in her hand; her mother’s dress, now hers, finally, folded and draped much like a Victorian nightmare, hissing as she situated herself from time to time. The pearl earring her father had given her for her seventh birthday dangled and cast a small shadow upon her neck due to the setting sun. The darkling thrush swirled and sang, chased each other with dips and dives; they seemed to supply the somber symphony for her evening musings. Quiet and still, quotidian and tenacious in her spell as she sat like a sphinx beholding beyond the bathos that the dusk delivered.

 

“Do you think one day a book can be a single page, mother? she asked gently while her index finger fiddled with her left earring.

“A single page? That would be no book at all, darling. Wouldn’t that be more like a very short story?” she said staring quizzically at strawberry-blonde locks her daughter had.

“What I mean is, one day a single page could contain hundreds of pages.”

“Hundreds? Darling…are you feeling well?”

“I am doing great, mother. Wouldn’t that be amazing? To simply touch this page and another appears in its stead…and light could come from this page so as to make it possible to read at night,” she uttered with a tender smile without turning away from the window.

“Silly, that’s what lanterns are for.”

“Yes, I suppose.”

“But if you’re going to dream–”

“Dream big! In that case, this magic page could show us Papa’s face whenever he goes overseas.”

“Hilda, that’s just madness!”

“Oh, mother, it’s simply fun to think about it. But wouldn’t that be great?”

“Did you…is…this another one of your dreams?” she asked hesitantly hoping her daughter would turn to face her.

“Mother, I don’t know. Yes, I suppose.”

“Well, don’t forget we have quite a day tomorrow with all those stubborn cows. Get some rest, sweetie,” she said lifting her chin unknowingly as if that somehow would get her to finally turn and look at her, if only just once.

“Of course, mother. Good night,” she said gripping her book and gazing through the open window and staring at the world outside.

 

 

With that, she closed the door to her daughter’s bedroom and with a lantern in hand, walked gently to her bedroom and undressed. As she crawled into bed she released a deep exhale and blew out the light. From her window she could see the silhouette of three nooses in the distance underneath the almond tree.

“Please help her to get better, Father,I beg you. Have mercy on my child,” she whispered in a darkening room as she caressed her eyelids the way her mother used to when she was a child. “In the name of the father, the son…”

 

 

 

 

Reflections

ADRIAN VINO

The reflection is mine…always mine

I walk through weeping willows

past large homes

homes I will never live in

 

Sounds trapped inside

of people and their things

I want to say I hear their muffled cries

but you and I both know that’s a lie

 

These summer nights…smell of whispering suicides…in lavender and orange blossoms disguised

These fading skies…beckon to mortal dreams…to bid them a long good night

 

My reflection sighs…now older and at times hard to recognize

as I walk amid large windows

silhouettes behind

curtains resembling her summer dress

 

And the poem keeps writing itself

the hard stuff cornered on the highest shelf

I am asleep

enshrouded in white sheets

 

I turn in the dark in bed

and there I am

my face enveloped

scarlet spots small then spreading

moving slowly

so so slowly

 

Somebody wake me

 

Before I wake myself

 

 

Hello

ADRIAN VINO

01110111 01100101 01101100 01100011 01101111 01101101 01100101 01110100 01101111 01100101 01100001 01110010 01110100 01101000 01101101 01101111 01110100 01101000 01100101 01110010 01100110 01110101 01100011 01101011 01100101 01110010

 

 

Holy Shit

ADRIAN VINO

The neighborhood cats had all took their place and sat and watched me from a distance; the black one with yellow eyes, atop a roof cool and still; the yellow tattered puss purred and licked his paws next the broken fence; the white feline with fierce green eyes rested his dirty head on the hood of the car where he laid. Impervious to affection and inherently self-sufficient, these night crawlers had understood my nature..and I theirs: We trek alone, but may allow you the grace of our company if there be something beneficial for us. Satie’s Gnossiene no.3 came to mind as I lifted my hands at eye level and spread my fingers inspecting my nails. Cars drove through the spaces leaving blurred red traces. To think, I once believed in some kind of “Intelligent Design.” Some people need that, I suppose.

 

“Everything okay heeere, bud?” came a voice drunk in tone and scent.

“Fine, thank you,” I replied yanking my hands into my pocket.

“Oh, don’t be embarrassed, young man. I too shuffer from the occasional poetry of life.”

“No, I wasn’t–”

“I’ll tell you an interesting little shtory most people don’t know for a couple bucks. It’s in the Bible too. What do you say, buddy? A couple of bucks would really help get my whistle wet tonight.”

I beheld the grey in his beard and knew this man was all men…broken somehow, a wrong turn somewhere,  mental issues, perhaps. His eyes were jaundiced and the left side of his hair was flattened by whatever park bench fell prey to his sleep. “Why not, old-timer, why not.”

“Atta boy, I knew you had the daring eye of a gambler.”

“You got five minutes, man. Let’s have it.”

 

“It’s in the book of Ezekiel. God in his infinite wisdom orders the children of Israel to eat human poop.”

“Pardon?”

” ‘And thou shalt eat it as barely cakes, and thou…umm thourrr…shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight. And the Lordy lorrrd said: Even thushhh shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, wither I will drive them.’ It’s in the book of Ezekiel, I’m telling you.”

“Are you sure you’re not embellishing?”

“Ezekiel being the big bitch that he was asked god to spare him and take pity on him and such and suuuch. So thy lord thy thou allowed him alone to bake his barley bread mixed with cow dung instead. Weasel.”

“That’s disgusting.”

“Yeah, tell me about it.”

“How do you know that story and why choose it over any other?”

“I am atoning out here…for my sins, I guess. I stopped believing a long time ago. But I continued to take from people and to feed them liiies. I justified it by telling myself there was no harm if it made them feel good, you know?”

 

“You were a part of a church?

“Kid, I was a pastor for a little over twenty years.”

“Is that true?!”

“Indeed it is,” he said taking the money I gave him, gave me a wink and walked away smiling and dragging his left foot.”

 

“Holy shit.”

 

 

 

To The Heart Of Olympus

ADRIAN VINO

 

The reprieve left a trace in the treble of rejoicing 

a voice ascending slightly amid meadows blindly vulpine

designed seductively by hunters and gathered forth the dawn

 

lemon yellow water color bleeding through oscillating an insipid version of your vertigo

the delinquent orphan vitiated outline of a person set aside like sketch

the stains that played the sullen boy into a madman

has summoned the maternal images and translated them as joy

 

I was born a woman and fucked as a man wanting to be a child once again simply to love without restraint

without need to call it property or cage it like a victim

old ideas consecrated to the malady of selfish peace

a lofty pariah shortly thereafter seeking solace in the echoing lie that swept the world in the guise of romanticism

shoeless and small arms crossed deaf to the abandon

we say wane

the devil and the falling of winter rains

the showers fruitful and forthcoming

evil flowers bloom beyond their evil

as they earthquake severing already broken families

 

decades had to drain me before I understood

mountains no more desire to crush me than I wish them good will

leaves in fall

snow in late December

quiet creeks with flowing hair quenching thirsty broken stones

let me always do remember

 

now it has been quite some time  the old ways have tried and tried

 

fare thee well and if you care return a warm good bye

 

and so I go with soft crunching sounds in sand

far and blurring

in the shudder of the golden strand

plead and cry if you will

I’ll understand

I have set my controls for the heart of  the Olympus

 

 

Pulp Friction

ADRIAN VINO

The angles were angry and the sycophant inside, was like the mark, hard to beat. The chief’s baritone drone was incessant and the dame behind the typer who answered the calls, was giggly no more now simply glaring. My veins were like cracks on an old marble statue, but they lay aching under a three-piece suit–moaning for another taste, another stab in the arm.

 

Reflections in sudden staccato echoed as I honed in on a fly on the wall. The clanking of new shoes approached and I turned in my desk before the knock began. “Yeah, whadya want?”

 

“It’s me, Thorn.”

Christ, this bastard won’t let up, “Come on in,” I clamored reaching for a smoke and patting at my chest for the lighter.

“Listen, Vinum, she’s at it again, I can feel it in my bones,” he said as he sat in the chair across me.

“Thorn, if it wasn’t for your paranoia, I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills. What do you think she’s done now?”

“For crying out loud, man, don’t I pay you enough? A little respect wouldn’t kill ya.”

“All right, all right, Thorn…it’s been a tough week. Let’s not get excited. What do you got?”

“It’s always good to see you, V.”

“Well, you kind of pay me to see you. Not like I have a choice.”

“And that, right there, is why I can trust you. You don’t sugar shit with me, I like that.”

“All right, off your knees. Talk to me…what is going on now?”

“She’s gotta be giving it to someone I thought, me thinking this a few weeks ago, so I relax, right. I mean, I let off with the questions and the hounding. I told her I was gonna go away for a week or two and of course, the broad pretended to not be the slightest excited. Goddamn tramp.”

“Yeah, so she doesn’t like you. No crime in that.”

“Well, no, but I hired a great actress to tail her. I did right this time. I hired an actress and rented the joint a few houses down from mine. She’s the actress who was real big on the papers about a year ago. She did a great job in that Shakespeare play about three witches or whatever. The broad’s got real talent.”

“Sorry, not big on plays,” taking a deep drag of filterless and trying to ignore the cold sweats coming on.

“Anyway,” he said shoving a cigar in that big, red greasy melon he calls a head and started puffing away. “She dressed up like an old bag and laid on this Russian accent and all and walked by in the morning and bumped in to her.”

“And?”

“Well, they ended up having coffee and exchanging stories, almost doing each others nails for christ’s sake.”

“Yeah, yeah?”

“So they get to talking, you know, like broads do. And my wife tells her she’s real sick of her marriage and what not. Bridget, that’s the actress, slips her some truth serum juice in her coffee. They end up having drink, and before you know it, my old lady is spilling the beans all over the floor.”

“Get to the point, will you,” I said throwing my feet on the desk and looking up at the ceiling following that damn fly.

“Yeah, well, here’s where it gets reeeal interesting…my wife claims that she’s always been faithful and never once cheated on me but had been tempted to for years.”

“So?”

“The beauty is, I don’t gotta pay Bridget no more.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because she ran way with my wife.”

“Geez, man, I’d say I’m sorry to hear it but… why the hell you so happy about it?”

“Because I inadvertently caused her to cheat on me.”

“Like some old pulp story with a twist, eh?”

“Exactly, V.! Except, this time I win, because I realized afterwards, that she was the problem of my insecurities.  I didn’t trust her even though I wanted to. I just couldn’t.”

“How about that.”

 

“So much for being cliche characters in a pulp story, eh?”

“Yeah, so much for…hey, did you hear that?”

 

“The tapping?”

 

“It’s gotta be the secretary at the typer. She’s always picking at that thing like some god damned chicken.”

“The gal left as soon as I came in.”