Room 222

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I’ve always been a fool
For film
old records
New art
Old books
And hard sole shoes
For paper
Bound in leather
And ink
And cameras
I liked ghosts
I liked empty buildings
Maybe that’s why I
Went to the hotel
On Manchester avenue
Maybe that’s how
I came to be famous
But I still feel bad about it
I feel as though I stole something

You see
It was between 1 and 3 am
That’s when all writers write
Anything worth writing
And fear forgetting
And that’s when
Any good ghosts
Go ghosting

I heard a woman singing
In the hall
So I went to check it out
When I looked
I just caught the glimpse of a dress
Around the corner
So I followed

Only to catch a door as it closed
In room 222
My heart in my throat
I entered
To find
Books
And papers
Journals
And art
Music
And film
This room
At the end of the hall
With a woman in white
And steel blue eyes
Singing her song quietly

I asked her what it was
When she handed me a journal
I opened it
To find
A short story
I had planned on writing
For my 18th birthday
But quickly forgot …
I looked up at her
Her eyes quietly speaking

This room
Was where
All our ideas
Go
The ones we lose
The ones we burn
Worn and burned
Lost and forgotten
They were agony
They were art
So I stole them
I published them
And I made my fortune
But
For every success
Part of me became this place
I couldn’t leave it
I couldn’t make art
Outside of this room
Eventually in time
I became just as much
Of it
As the woman in white
Walking the halls
Or the lampshade on the night stand
The key in the door
I’ve forgotten how
Introductions go…
I’m only thinking of
Endings …
Hung up
Within in-betweens
Like the vortex
Of 1 and 3 am
That’s what I am….

The Burning of The House Of Sylvia

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I like New York
I like the flow
This bar
I come here to relax with the piano
I come here to forget ….Sylvia.

Sylvia
A widow
Her husband died in the war
She never came out
She never came to town
Or to church
You could see her movement through the windows from time to time
a shadow
Fleeting

I was just starting in journalism
I wanted to be a success
And my first real chance came
When a story regarding Sylvia
And the loss of her husband landed on my desk

It required staying with Sylvia
For three weeks
Documenting her life
What she did
What she liked
Find out who she was
And if she was grieving

Her house
Was intimidating
more like a manor or hotel
dark
as if it held every
Demon haunted story
Branded by this city.

Inside wasn’t much better
Cold and consuming any light
Rather than being illuminated by my lamp.

I was startled by her ghostly movements
She never made a sound
Rather just floated from room to room
Dressed in black
Her red hair framing her face

The days passed
Without her sleeping
she sat around reading
Or in her window
Whispering to herself
Often going away into her room
For hours
Once I asked about her husband
all she said was
I’m too young and old for this I don’t know what to do

And then rose and left the room in her soft way of moving

I don’t know what it was
But on a particular rainy Sunday
Exploring the house and library
I noticed her bedroom door open
I couldn’t help looking around

It was dark
Consuming all my energy
Old photographs
And painting
covered the walls
And a desk at the window

this is my life do you know what you’ve been sent for?

I was startled turning around
I hadn’t noticed her in the room
But there she was
Standing in the corner
Filling the blackness
Her red hair almost like a fire
Framing her green eyes

I’m sorry I didn’t realize this was …I just..couldn’t help myself

you will find..there are darker rooms in the world then what you’ve seen here and darker evils than all mystery

Later I woke at the darkest hour of the night
There was faint singing
Like an echo
moving through the house
I looked out my window and saw her
Sitting in the garden playing a piano
I left that Monday

all I had was
A story
About a young woman
Racked with loneliness
Voices
And mystery

They published it like she was a witch
Condemning her property under
Eminent domain
She refused to leave
The banks came
And burned her out

I never saw her again
I remember seeing her face in the window
They never found her body
I personally like to think
She went back to her family
In London but I don’t know

Her property was ideal for a large bank…which ironically burned due to an electrical fire last Christmas

That’s my story

I came here to New York to get away
And write about new things
Real things
From time to time I’ll come in this bar
And find an old photograph of the city or of me playing
waiting on my piano
Sometimes I think I see her in a crowd
A flash of red hair …
But I never know for sure
I hope wherever she is
She found her center
I hope she found her light.

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Moving Piano

I can’t play piano
But if I could
I would be really good
People assume the same thing
Someone actually gave me one once
Were I in an industrial rock band
I would be great
But I’m not …
And I don’t have the patience
When I play it sounds
Like hell coming to your home
Or Vincent Price
Knocking on your door
It’s not a good feeling
Unless you’re into that

Dad got our mom
One when we lived
In GA
My older brother
Immediately
Marked it by
Carving the word
‘Dole’
On the back
With his pocket knife…
It was the 90s
We were young
And barely noticed the bombing
Of the World Trade Centers
Or anything else for that matter

A decade later
I hauled that piano
Into my Z71
Excited about putting my
Primitive moving abilities
To the test
Strapping it down with a single
Tie
that had to be at least
100 years old and not in a strong way
This would be my first mistake …
the piano fell on it’s side
The tie broke
My second mistake
Would be
the bright idea
To just pull the thing
Out and catch it on it’s way down
This of course
was and continues to be
A bad idea for so many reasons
Mostly because
My name is not Chuck Norris
Thus
Pianos falling from trucks
send me through walls…
It landed on the tailgate
Someone screamed
I pulled
My brother pushed
There was light
Then weight
Damn
I went through a drywall…
Don’t try to catch piano’s
Ever (unless you’re Chuck Norris)

mom still plays
I remember her saying
It’s something you have
Or you don’t
If you have it
It’s emotional
Like Jimmy Page
That’s what makes it music
It moves …
But somewhere
There is that old piano
With the markings
Dole
Scratched on the back
Forever stuck in the 90s…

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