faces on the wall….

The man sat in the dark and thought of the pictures on the wall and the eyes that looked out from their frozen images of faces and whatnot in the chemicals that held them in such places from their making until they left in some manner or other, moved to another wall, moved to another house, passed among the things that leave when he would leave on that unknown date and then.  The eyes that could bore through their selved-images into the eyes of the man who sat in the chair with heavy lids and pondered those things as night wound into itself and him and the sounds of day’s passing had become the creaking and yawning of the presence of its neighbor and twin, the one who exists on the other side of the thoughts of himself.

Picture frames glowing or reflecting the light that sneaks in through the windows from the posted light in the yard, that one thing that illuminates the darkened corners where what was present in the day has crawled into itself and themselves and exist only in shadow form or memory, but not sight, as they are hidden in the black and gray of their shadowed selves.  Those eyes accuse and remember in their fixed gazes and the man stares at the blank middles of the frames at what he knows is there but cannot see for the passed and past day and the dark inside the four edges covers but doesn’t hide the faces he knows.  Night doesn’t cover his heart and his wandering soul and it doesn’t relieve the ghosts that walk in his mind and in the fibers of the carpet and lay like a film inside the paint and wooded textures of stair railings and benches, those things that capture sounds and emotions as they are fleeing in their shouted births and deaths of echoes and remain.

Hollowed eyes and grins and thoughts and cheekbones and lips that lie in a stuck rictus, like painted and dead clowns and he doesn’t know who is inside, who is behind those portals of life and then, and he turns away and closes his eyes and hears the ringing in his ears as the cat talks not walks down the hall and a hidden beam somewhere in the wall creaks or sighs as the house wonders at the man in the chair in the dark, wonders at his thoughts and sitting there while others sleep and dream and think of nothing in the passing of the stars and moon in their circuits as the heater kicks on and whines through the vents and blows in its blowing and warmth of breath and stops with a shudder and how, as the man’s foot twitches as sleep tries to pull him deeper into the chair as his heart beats and beats and his eyes open at the cat’s passing and scratching on and of the one corner of the rug that has its frayed spot and spot as the eyes on the walls sleep in their openness and hide their thoughts in front of him as he looks away and remembers a younger self that fled a smile in furrowed brows and pursed lips of anger and rot, his eyes scorned and shaken and cast away and aside and down and away from any who would look.

He remembered the thick hand that smacked his mouth when his eyes were closed and thought the Divine was blind as the prayer was stuck in the swirl of ceiling paint as the black eyes bored into the smaller one’s eyes as his mouth throbbed and his heart ached and his mom sat at arm’s length away as her man’s hand smacked her child’s mouth and she kept her eyes closed as the sound echoed in her ears and she squeezed her eyes closed as she smelled the dinner cooling on the table in front of them and wondered how the paint could keep the prayer inside the ceiling as it rolled about and thinned against the summer air and finally withered and faded and was gone in the tears that rolled down his cheeks as hate breathes by itself in blank picture frames and white rocks cast along the way, tripping the travelers who dare not watch where they are walking, who are blind to the path and stumble in the dark footsteps that lumber ahead of them.

This is a Favorite Re-post from February, 2010.

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24 responses

  1. Powerful and moving and full of the sensory. I am impressed Scott.

    June 22, 2012 at 7:23 am

    • You are very kind, Nancy…thank you.

      June 22, 2012 at 7:58 am

  2. me

    So beautiful….

    June 22, 2012 at 7:31 am

    • Thank you, Lori Kim….

      June 22, 2012 at 7:57 am

  3. Powerful stuff! Excellent.

    June 22, 2012 at 8:49 am

    • Thank you, Chillbrook. 🙂

      June 22, 2012 at 8:51 am

  4. Deeply moving Scott! My heart goes out to that little boy.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:09 am

    • Very nice words and sentiments, Madhu…thank you.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:16 am

  5. Scott this piece is truly exceptional….WELL DONE!!

    June 22, 2012 at 10:31 am

    • Thank you, Kirsten. 🙂

      June 22, 2012 at 10:34 am

  6. Your writing always blows me away, Scott.
    I was lost in the breathless rhythm of your words. Intense. Beautiful.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    • Such precious words, Karen…thank you….

      June 22, 2012 at 9:47 pm

  7. Sad. I hope it is fiction. Unfortunately though, it can’t be fiction for all of us.

    June 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm

  8. Dipping into the darkness. You do it well. It’s almost painful to visit there with you.

    June 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    • Thank you, Gunta…and for visiting, too.

      June 23, 2012 at 9:16 pm

  9. painful memories

    June 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm

  10. This is so poignant and well thought out that I feel it must be inspired by personal experience. But whatever the source of you inspiration for this post, Scott, it is a beautiful, soulful reflection, and it reminds me of some of the best intimate songs by Paul Simon (Overs, Bookends). Well done.

    June 27, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    • Very nice words, Gary….thank you.

      June 28, 2012 at 6:47 am

  11. Scott, I would very much like to know if you constructed your sentence-paragraphs this way intentionally for effect or if you wrote instinctively? The effect is that of a man-child pouring out a terrible burden in a protracted struggle to free himself from it. It is as if he stopped, he would be unable to start again and never be free. Did you intend it that way? I haven’t seen this style of construction in a long time. I forget who wrote that way. Interesting and highly effective handling of the subject. Congratulations. It was very moving, Scott.

    July 1, 2012 at 7:53 am

    • Very kind words, George…so precious, like you always are. And about the writing…? It was over two years ago when I wrote it, but I do remember having sat in our living room in the dark of night after everyone else had been in bed for hours…and after having sat there in my dark quietude for however long, I almost HAD to go write…the words were just coming on their own. I do write in that style intentionally, at times, and on other occasions, it just happens…this one could have been either or both. Thank you again for your nice words…they are very special to me. 🙂

      July 1, 2012 at 7:31 pm

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