Monday Oct 22

TravisGreenPic Travis Green currently attends North Carolina State University and will graduate in May 2012. He is an English major with a concentration in Creative Writing and views writing as “a great way to express myself and give advice to others in need.”

Uncontrolled Death

I was at a hospital, watching my uncle’s last slipping breath,
trying to ignore the rapping of rain beating against windows, a sign
of dark shadows creeping as the grey clock near a TV
stand ticked, the hands like two lovers falling away from each other.
I don’t remember that much after, only
cold driving nails on one broken wall—
Now, I stand in my kitchen, sinking like water that drains
into a secluded tunnel, letting off those drilling waves
in the back of my head, those slant rhymes of my uncle, a
lost indication of poetry.  As I raise the curtains back
from my window, I’m forced to gaze out at the stark sky, a
reflection back to what I lost some years ago—brown and yellow bottles
of Whiskey and Tequila, tossed in our yard, from the previous
night when my uncle was mad diving, rolling his favorite
lines to trashy blondes and coy brunettes.  Those were the good
old days, I thought, as I abandoned the window, and
walked towards the refrigerator, coming eye to eye with,
liquor bottles on the top rack, then harshly backing away
like the moving wind that waits for another cracking day,
then my heartbeat thumps violently, with a few little trembling
words that haunts the air.  How do I run away from life when gravity
pulls me back?

My Son is 15 Now

My son is 15 now, his voice has changed
into the mere language of stars, and though
he tries to hide it, I know he lies in his bedroom
on that azure bed, spitting game on those girls
of his like a woman losing the grip of her nation.
I stand close to the stairs, sometimes at night,
listening to that funky beats of his, a drifted
page in my eyes, because I’m way past my years
of rocking to the nighttime blues, but
he’s on a new path now, one that spins and spins
like the wheels of a car that circle the daytime skies.
Some days when he comes in from school, I’d take a
glance at him from the kitchen, as he drops his bag
on the floor and plopping on the front couch like I don’t
know what happened in school, and I’d say,
Anything exciting happened in school today?
He looked at me, searching for the right words to say,
Not really, same old, same old, and I’d stare at him again,
before releasing a cool whipped wind beneath
his throggy throat, the one that catches flies on
curtains before they could take off.  He’d beg for mercy,
looking into the silent sky as his guide, but he had to learn
why trees sway at times, while at other times they remain
innocent like sweet humming birds.  I don’t like to talk about
that time too much, because my pulsing breaths were
wearing thin in dim light hours of lies.  A couple of days
or so, he’d walk around the house like a ragged mountain, ready
to close on the falling sky, but he had a lot to understand, and
that boys want to be on those waves of  grown men, still, you
have to go in the right direction.

An Ordinary Day

I watch the dog through the screen door,
on his belly barking and wiggling his tail
as if the sun would respond to his call, but
he knows I am his bright sky,
and so I rummage through canned food,
settle on chicken and turkey,
pouring the slick moons of meat into
his bowl as he licks me like a dog bone,
and I rub my fingers through that
furry coat, making me think of
my old cat, looking up at me with its
green eyes like I was the star
that sealed his door, a world
that answered his soft “meow.”
Now, my dog stares at me, curious
wondering what’s going on in my head,
as I go back inside, and walk towards
the kitchen, preparing to cook lasagna,
broccoli, and a honey-polished turkey,
rich lemonade shimmering the air.
I want to lie back on my couch, while
the food whistles on the stove, and
gaze out the windows at my dog,
his life a retelling of words I could
never grasp, his language
resting behind my eyes

Uncle Dave Rocking the Night Away

Nobody remembers much about his half-amazed life—but
the devastated weekends of late night hangovers, and
excessive drinking of Gin and Millerlight, until hours
later, kneeling over the toilet seat in the bathroom, vomiting
slippery strips of mashed salad, pepperoni pizza, and burning liquor,
until he passed out on the couch, surfacing for air, then
at other times he’d be rolling on the floor with a couple
of strippers or three, nudging against the backs of chairs,
his hands sliding through skylines like rushing rain
edging against ragged buildings and there’s a slight sound
of wind whizzing outside his home, like trees screaming in
far mountains.  The women’s feet are curled up next to his hairy legs,
their breasts resting on his side like bright red and purple leaves
and their ochre stained G-strings, their strapless shadowed bras,
his ripped boxers, and his pants, all covered in pearly white liquid,
leaking onto the bedroom floor.