Friday, December 27, 2013

Mines dug with boots.

Oh fuck,
Oh Lordy fuck.
Murdoc is running,
And stumbling,
And running,
And stumbling,
And running,
And stumbling,




Dirty hands,
Lifting heavy,
simple motors,
the day after Christmas.

Dirty, heavy hands,
Lifting simple motors,
And shoving them into the back of the truck,
And bringing them home.

Wrestling these engines,
Bringing them home.

Broken things,
Bouncing about in the six foot bed,
Down the tree sheltered road into Lodge Forest.

To the even ender edge of this world.

So he drives them home,
Past Bauers farm,
Past Folkes farm,
Past Todds farm.

And the deer,
Which are not here,
Walk quietly out of the fog
And stand and wait to wonder
What lies on the other side of the road?

“There are no deer in the Fort.”

And he sits in his truck
And waits,
As they cross the lonely dark road,
Making their way home?
What drives them?

It is simple.

And it is the same thing that drives Murdoc home,
Out, onto 
and in the black water,
That must be home.

Gorgeous creatures,
With purpose,

Let them amble about,
And stamp
In the glow,
In the blinding glow
Of heavy headlights and terrible cold air.


Walk away,
Run away,
Into the dark and tangled brush,
The place where light
Is split,
And where what ever this is,
Is warm,
And home.

Stamp away,
Bury broken boots,

Stand straight and feel the power…


This is your world...
will you live it?

Murdoc can only imagine.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Blah, Fucking Cold.

So we write again about home.



He sits down to write, but has to rise and make sure that the pipes in the kitchen haven’t froze, locked up, hardened with the cold that has taken over his cruel side of this world, his island, his lighthouse.

And he places worn, beaten boots next to the door.

Cold and cruel chases him always. 

He opens the cold water valve.  Lets it run.  All is well.

The coast is clear.


And he runs the water in the kitchen sink.  It is cheap stainless steel.  And he knows that it will stain if the right chemicals, the wrong things touch its surface, his surface.  

He dips his head into the cold steel sink of the tiny kitchen and runs the water, the cold water, through his hands and over his head.  Cold is heat, and he bathes in the bitter embrace. Cold.  Bitter cold.  And he shivers and howls.  Cold.

“Hear me, I am.”

And he whips his head,
Punches walls, cabinets,
And rails.
And just keeps pushing his head under,
Into the cold,
Basking in the white heat.

Iced up on the outside, but inside, all is well.
Cold water runs strong,
Deep thru wide veins,
Exposed and left open to discover,

Do you test the hidden things inside your walls that you take for granted?

Do you?
Will you?

He does.  He must.


It is always cold here out on the island at this time of year.

What did you expect?

And he shoves his head under, into the cold, the ice, again,
And again,
And again,
And again,
And again, and again…

Until he is numb,

Or just numb enough so he can sleep.

Cold is heat.

And he radiates,
Fires slow, strong engines, and he waits.

“Hear me, I am.”

He dips his head into the cold water just once more.
He lets it flow and drag over and through him.
The cold is again heat;
When understood and allowed.
And carbon and fine steel washes away.
Black, heavy metals, leave him,
light and heavy,
never clean,
but close.

And he just is…


Wet from the top down.


But the pipes aren’t frozen,
And this is a good thing.

And he shakes his cold wet head.
Like a good dog,
Outside the door.

And cleans up the mess inside.

When allowed back in.

Good boy.




Saturday, December 14, 2013

Merry Fucking Christmas.

What is the breaking point…
 of a good man?

We have been here before.

This is something that has been plaguing Murdoc for quite some time.

He is now especially troubled by this concept.  Worried.  Fretful.  Sleepless.

It might be the time of the year that lowers this weight upon him?

He has withdrawn.
When he returns home to his lighthouse, he removes his heavy boots and pushes them tight against the front door.  If they move without him, it is a signal to rise from his place and prepare.  He is restless, the unhappy dog that skulks, paces, cannot just be, give in to…anything.

He double checks the locks on his back door, windows.  He is concerned by venues of ingress and egress.  He needs to know he is in control of these flood valves in, and escape valves out. 

He is tension, tightly wound wire, brittle and taught. 
He is the fallen angel,
sitting in his father’s antique, uncomfortable, but glorious chair.

He is shopping at the Food Lion (roar!) and it takes a bit before he settles down and can focus on the task at hand, buying groceries.  His panic and shake and tunnel vision take time to melt away.  The first two isles are always a blur and he uses his coffee, in the third aisle, to bring him back to focus, and get him back to the shopping.

Today he is definitely out of sorts.  His balance is off.  He knows this going in, but he needs supplies, at least coffee and heavy cream anyway.

And after stressing and ambling just enough,
When his focus finally returns,
He hears the Christmas music.

And it is Glorious.
And it is Hell.
And his vision goes tunnel and blurry and he starts to hyperventilate right there in front of the Tastycake end of aisle, where all the pies are on sale, including holiday flavors, which are gloriously 5 for five dollars.

And Murdoc muscles up and holds back the tears.
It takes every ounce of him
to keep from bursting into a sad rendition of a cheap lawn sprinkler,
that leaks when connected,
never reaches as far as it should across the lawn,
and rusts and clogs when left alone during winter.

The song that plays above him is Herb Alpert, “The Bell That Couldn’t Jingle.”

Murdoc gets thru.
Gets out.
Gets home.
And sits in his truck,
And sees where he is,
And he weeps.

And then he sobs.
Almost uncontrollably.
It is the heavy, deep, lamentation and howl
of a good soul wondering and loving.
He weeps for anger, joy, and understanding.
And then the first song that set him off sends him to this…

This was the song (classical version) that would make his father cry at midnight mass when he used to go and used to care.

And here is Murdoc.
Again missing his favorite time of the year.
Again patiently waiting in the cold and dark.
Believing, knowing,
That better days await.

So Murdoc listens to this,
Another song learned from his father,
And listens, to everything…

He is under the Great Oak out back, listening to the black water freeze and crackle upon a tide that is governed by the moon and has no forgiveness.  It is beautiful. 

And for a second, it all goes quiet…still…and he can hear her.  No words, just a simple inhale and hum, life going in, and then exhale softly, life going on.  Purrfect.
This is love.  And it lifts you up and gets you thru, when it is just and right. 

Murdoc is sobbing as he writes this.  He aches.  But he loves, and is loved; and that makes all those silly tears count for something. 

There is no breaking point for a good man.

    Volim te.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Chaos and Kairos.

It has been a long time since Murdoc sat down and shoved words together.  So long in fact, that he finds himself at a loss where to begin.

So he types, “It has been a longtime since Murdoc sat down and shoved words together.  So long in fact, that…”

And the Universe steps in with great humour and his power goes out.  Poof.  He is left sitting in the cold and dark November, waiting, waiting, for the lights come back on so that he can begin again.

So he lights a candle and ambles about his tiny prison, his haven, his lighthouse, on the black water.  In his head he composes this piece while he awaits and lit cigarettes glow amber in the dark.

    “Out back, in the abyss, the black water is hardening.  The ice has now reached almost out to the end of the pier.  My side of the peninsula is dark; some young fool must have hit a telephone pole on our only road in and out, our only life line, and now we all just sit in the dark and the cold and wait.  Wait.
    Don’t be obvious and type “weight”.

    Where have I been?
    And he answers back…”Nowhere and everywhere”.  It sounds so simple.  And in theory it should be. 

    Where has Murdoc been?  Where have I been?

    He has been destroying things for a good deal of money.  He has been a “demolition expert”.  And it should be noted that this was not his first time, his first rodeo.  He had been there before.  When he was young, he loved this lifestyle and its terrible trappings.  Now that he is older and wiser, he can no longer be a part. 

    But he did nine months.  Nine terrible months that destroyed his body and mind.  Nine months that took a toll on his beloved.  During this time, at its infancy, Erdanus, Tippy, his love, stayed with him in their lighthouse by the black water.  She was there…and he wasn’t.  He hates himself for this abuse of their valuable, limited time and connection.  But he was harnessed up and dangling in elevator shafts and bringing down mountains or rubble and twisted steel.  Murdoc lost himself in his work, in the delicious destruction of man’s folly, and he is a lucky man that Tippy stood by him and let him indulge. 

    It took a toll on her.  She hated hearing the stories of chaos and uncertainty and despised the reports of injuries.  And there were many.  One night he proudly reported that a shoring tower had collapsed upon him.  “They think I might have two broken vertebrae in my neck and I definitely have a severe head concussion.  They held me for a spell to make sure I was okay to drive home.”  And he drove himself home, alone, because she was gone back to her side of the world and her obligations.  And as he shares this news across the zeros and ones, her eyes well up with tears and she fights to be strong for him.  This wasn’t fair.  He was so broken at this point that a catastrophic physical failure was inevitable; and seemed like the only recourse, and  the only outcome, to the work which he had committed himself to undertaking.  And his angel across the black water never left his side, even if she wasn’t there by his side. 

    It took time, and understanding, and love to bring him back. 

    And he returned.

    He resigned his post as “demolition expert” and locked himself away for a spell to regain his composure.  He is a gentle man with rough sensibilities, and finding his way back has not been easy. 

    But he is on his way.

    So Murdoc sits in the dark, waiting for the power to come back on so he can write, start getting things out again.  And in the quiet he hears this,


    It goes on, this comfort sound, and then restarts after a seemingly endless breath.


    And here in is the silly. 

    It is not his great love across the black water trying to calm his combat weary soul.  It is not her warm breath and slow exhale across his cold cheek.  It isn’t her delicate finger touched to his cracked and brittle cold lips and the “Sssssshhhhh” of lovers understanding.

    It is his toilet.

   He wishes it was something more, and Lord know his great woman across the black water has called to him many times and eased his weary soul in moments of terrible need.

    But tonight it is just his toilet.

    The flapper inside the tank has chosen to sit improperly on the release hole ever so, and just a small trickle of water under four pounds of pressure, has created this comforting sound.


    No math or semblance of reason for its breath and restart.


    Purrfect.  Murdoc has figured it out and is maddened by its non linear and lack of mathematical cadence and way.


    But he loves it just the same.  He will sit in the dark, waiting for the light and heat to come back on; return, and if he waits long enough, he will discover the rhythm.  He is a patient fool finding his way back…Finding his way back into a universe that needs him.  He cannot wait to share this story.

    Don’t “Ssssshhhhhhhhhh” me.


The lights come back on after a long enough wait that his prison, his lighthouse, their tiny cottage by the sea, has grown cold.

Out back, the black water has frozen and reached the end of the pier.

Murdoc lights a cigarette, opens a beer and types…

    “It has been a longtime since Murdoc sat down and shoved words together.  So long in fact, that…”

Friday, May 3, 2013

This Must Be...

    And we are still out of the narrative…again.  Going back and capturing such star birthed and overwhelming love is a taxing task.  So we enter the here and now, because so much has changed and needs to get out.  It is life or death it seems these days, at this point in time.  So where are we?

    “Slow down, don’t fuck with my eye; I want to be left alone here with my monsters.”
          -M. Doughty.

    Let’s begin…

   Murdoc is standing in the dark, on a dry dock, whipped by the cruelest of cold winds coming in off the black waters of the Coast Guard refitting yards on the Eastern Shore.  Above him, a cutter, ocean going and vast, rises and balances on thick, compressed oak blocks and steel.  Something this vast shouldn't sit so easy…on what seems like nothing.  Two hundred and sixty-feet of twelve-story high rise steel, just hover’s above his head in the soft moonlight.

    “This shouldn't be.”  He thinks this and repeats these words like a mantra as he walks under the great mass of the elegant woman suspended and out of her element.

    The ship has been brought in on routine refurbishment.  She will be scrubbed and blasted and purged of two years worth of world travel.  Barnacles are blasted off her sides that may have hitched a ride from the Sea of Japan or the Adriatic, or the home shores of the Atlantic.  The ship’s manifest is kept secret from him and he can only guess and wonder in the bitter wind and moonlight, where she may have traveled.  But he loves her just the same.  She is an elegant beast, held up by engineering, revered and worth saving.  You invest in great things.

    The nightly task ahead of him is ugly…evil…unforgiving…and not for men of weak minds, body or soul and heart. 

    Holes are cut with torches, into the very bottom of the thing which keeps her afloat.  These holes, the only way in and out, are fifty feet apart.  This is the way in and out for the men who will fix this creature from within, from below.  This is the way into the ballast chambers, one after the other, three feet wide and four feet high, one after the other, for two hundred and sixty-feet.  And the only way to manage, from chamber to chamber to chamber to chamber, is to wriggle thru a cold, jagged space roughly engineered to the size of the opening of a household clothes dryer door.  There is no quick way in…no quick way out.  This is why there are few rescue efforts for confined space mishaps, only “recovery.”

    This is Murdoc’s first time in “confined space”.  He is prepped by a veteran named J.R.  It is very clinical and matter of fact.

    “Once the LEL meter tells us nothing will blow up and we can breathe, we’ll go in.  We will not be able to communicate once the guzzler is running.  And know this, if you have a cut on your hand and it gets close to the intake, the beast will suck you dry, your blood will be all gone by the time it takes to shut the pig down.  Work with me and let’s go home safe.  It’s all hand signals and eye contact in the dark.  If you feel uneasy or panicky, signal me and we’ll get you out.  So are we doing this or what?”

    Murdoc smiles, “Yuppers.”

   J.R. reaches over and touches Murdoc’s chest, tries to find his heart.  “Christ man, nothing.”

    Murdoc smiles.

    J.R. turns on his headlamp and waves his hand to the guzzler operator, “Fire the fucker up, let’s do this, I want go home.”

    And the noise, the white noise and cacophony of hell rises as they climb into the bottom of the ship.

   It’s black and moonlight outside on the dry dock.  They wriggle in, thru the tiny hole cut into the ship, and the only light, is the one LED beacon attached to the hard hat.  Hand signals are passed and the lights are tested.  They are only one ballast tank in, black out, and then relight.  The seconds in the dark and howl of noise, test the best of men sent in, and send most of them out.  Lights come back on and Murdoc is still there.  J.R. smiles and flashes the “O.K.” sign.

    And the work/madness begins.

   Murdoc, because he is the new man, runs the line and follows J.R. into the dark.

    And it is hell.

    Murdoc is now deep into the belly of the beast and dark and the howl, and thinks, “Yuppers, this is pretty close to Hell.  Fucking glorious.”  He isn't afraid.  He should be, but he isn't.  Instead he studies the architecture and the welds within the scope of his head lamp that is his only light in the black, the dark.  J.R. moves ahead of him into the dark and Murdoc follows.  They keep each other safe and work at a job that no sane person would ever attempt…for the next eight hours without stopping in the dark and the howl and the bitter cold.

    And when all is well and good, and it seems like the work is done, J.R, say’s to Murdoc, “Hey man, we missed a couple of baffles, how do you feel about going back in and getting them for me?”

    And Murdoc knew exactly what was happening; this was his last test.  He had to go inside alone and work the chaos by himself.  And he did.  And in one night he became one of the elite.  He proved that the dark, the cacophony, and the danger; wouldn't, couldn't break him.  But fuck if it didn't try.  Out of seventeen new men tested, Murdoc is the only one that didn't wilt or fade, or give in to fear or weakness.

   And standing by the water’s edge, held back by a fifty-foot wall of dry-dock of steel and concrete, wind whipping and howling, fury held at bay and tempered…

   Greatness held above him by such delicate and purposeful means…

    And men, good men, beside him that do the work that no one else should, or ever have to do, have taken him into their fold…

    Murdoc smiles, again, and leans deep into the heavy cold wind that burns deep into his soul; his eye’s well up with tears.  It could be the cold wind.  It could be the chaos.  Only he knows.  But fuck if he doesn't just let the tears roll down and sear his frozen surface and smoldering soul beneath.

    Murdoc returns home and walks thru the door to his quiet, lonely prison on the water, and says this aloud…

    “This shouldn't be.”