Someone To Talk To…

“My lighter quit working on me three cigarettes ago, but I keep flicking the damn thing expecting it to light. That’s really how my life has been lately, broken and useless. If it wasn’t for all the anti-smokers informing me of my future death, I’d already think I was dead. All my money is tapped out and I’m begging for a light from a crowd of strangers. One wicked old lady felt the need to tell me how smoking is hazardous to my health. Thanks, like I didn’t already know that I told her. The surgeon general’s been warning me for years, but your screeching voice has really gotten through to me. Who knew pushing your values and opinions on to others actually worked? Since were being honest and forthcoming with our inner thoughts and opinions. Your handbag doesn’t match your shoes and the clown set up resting on your face is really distracting to the eye. It isn’t fooling anyone into thinking you are beautiful, but it is distracting to think maybe you aren’t that ugly. Four or five feet back that way I might even think you are female underneath it all. She called me an asshole and stormed off as I smiled.

Nonsmokers are useless. They should all be led out to sea. Pushes them off by the dock down by the harbor one by one. Thanks for your thoughts and concerns, and a boot to the ass. You know what I mean? Most of them are hypocritical bastards anyway. Put a little liquor in them and they are out here begging me for a light. Seen more than my fair share of them stumbling out here and deciding to take a Sunday drive down the sidewalk. Isn’t it amazing how drunks can forget words like no or force themselves on a woman and not remember, but they can find their cars in a white out blizzard and run over six people?

Been smoking ten years now and I’ve still been unable to take a life, but my own. I’m the real villain of this world. Maybe I should turn myself in to the police? Take responsibility for my actions. They might be looking for me as I speak and I should take the initiative and shout, I’m right here. Big government is always out to get the innocent ones. Though at least I could get a hot meal and a place to stay if they even bother to look down to see me. Maybe if I get desperate enough. If things could get any worse. But no one’s looking for me. Not anymore.

You could say I lost my money on the market like everyone else in recent history, but my market was the back room of bars and basements hidden away. Pissed away my money faster than I could earn it. Don’t be like that. Never a good idea to be like that. Knowing better doesn’t make it any easier to face the truth or help yourself. Some might say it only makes things worse. Knowing what you know after the fact. I have a real hard time picking winners if you know what I mean. Bad luck must be something of a disease caught at birth. Sometimes people have it and sometimes people don’t. My father had all the luck in the world and my uncle couldn’t rub two pennies together to warm his fingers.

Buddhists would call bad luck karma, but that’s just all a bunch of horse shit. Stand still long enough on this street and you’ll find some waiting for you. Damn carriage horses just be walking by and drop a big old pile right by your head. Feet from where you sleep. They don’t give a damn. Same with fate and all that other crap people tell you about life and luck. No one gives a damn. That should be a crime if you ask me. Don’t see anyone of these people going up to them and pestering them about what they are doing. If anyone needs to be reminded about the shit, they leave behind it is those worthless pricks. Life is all about luck.

Some would say I’m bitter, but really, I’m just unlucky. Unless you count the fact that I’m still breathing, but then again that is only because I haven’t died yet. Nothing special about that at all. Nope the lord hasn’t pulled my straw just yet even if he has unstrung my bundle. Still breathing and still struggling through life’s endless shit storm, and life is a real shit storm. Believe me I would know. Seen a few things that would make you question your own reality. Let alone the existence of some unknown figure watching over our daily mistakes.

What do I know though? I know I am to blame for where I am. Don’t for a second be so cynical to think that I didn’t know that. I went to school for a few good years. Didn’t finish like I don’t finish most things. Searching for that easy money there’s no time to see anything through. The American dream or something like it. Rich by sunrise. Free as a bird on Sunday. Call it American if you want. It’s all the same everywhere. Struggle is struggle in any language. Only thing any of us have in common, I guess. What do I know about the world? Barely made it out of my concrete bed this morning let alone out of the country.

Could this place really be worth losing everything over? Worth giving up the freedom of sin? I’d trade it in for a carton of cigarettes and a government check. Like most of us I’m too proud to realize how good I might have it. Too busy thinking I need something better. I know better now. Took a lifetime, but now I know. What could anyone else ask for? Fine clean air and someone to talk to. Lord couldn’t ask for a better day if it was his dying wish. It’s a long and lonely road out here. You know what I mean? Enough of my rambling. What does life and luck mean to you?”

She pulls her ear buds out, “Did you want a dollar or something?”

Valerie Hannigan

Taking unconventional characters and making them unconventional is a good way to pass the time. I can relate to the female stranger because I am her. I don’t listen to everything that everyone says to me. Three little mouths rambling on will do that to a person. Break said person down until there is nothing left, but thoughts of living homelessly in a city so far away from here. A fantasy so real at this point it feels more like a past life I am trying to remember than a dream inside my head. But I love them. Each and everyone of their tiny little necks. I just want to hold them tight and never let go. Children are little miracles that never stop taking and taking. There was a point somewhere in all of this. I lost it and I don’t even care anymore.

Leaking Ink Like It is Blood
Because It is All We Know
is That a Funeral?

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As The Heavens Fall… Something Different…

As Before

Blood runs cold, the night air not as warm as before
Thoughts run empty with your celestial talking
Does the mind stop even after you make it
What separates us from animals if not for sin
Inhaling fire to stay alive one more night
Stripped to the bones, pressed against the cold
Giving into the things that make us whole, want and need
More to do every day easy to feel used
In the dark searching for an escape from internal questions
Believe that one day all will be well, manufactured lie
A dreamer exhaling upon the world tonight
Knowing you are wrong is the worst feeling of all
Blood runs cold, the blue flames washed away
A rebirth of existence praying to a lord from before
Does the devil hear the call as the heart stops beating
What separates us from animals if not desperation
Breathing fire to stay alive one more night
Stripped of all reason, the skin goes cold
Kneeling before it all to feel whole once again
More is needed, nothing is ever enough
In the dark searching for answers to life
Believed that one day all will be well, synthetic truth
A lost soul screaming to the heavens tonight
Knowing there is no answer is the worst feeling of all
Blood runs cold, prayers left unanswered in the night
As above so below, as before so it is now
Naked and alone

The mood struck me as I think of what to do with my time tonight… spending time on twitter can feel like this from time to time… as though one is shouting for attention… only to hear nothing back… social media in general feels like this to me… it turns me off from the whole thing… rather sit in my closet feeling sorry for myself… instead of out in the open feeling the same way… I’m told though if I want people to notice my work then I need to get out there… not sure if I hold these truths as close to my heart… destined to be naked and alone as before…

Getting anyone to notice anything is a challenge… wish I had some sort of secret to share… some profound philosophy to explain it all away… unfortunately all I have are visions of slamming my head into a wall until I no longer care… not helpful I’m aware… but there is something there… a feeling locked within the madness… an lack of effort that doesn’t come across as desperation sewn into the thought… a lack of something… a lack of confidence?… a lack of fucks?… I’m sure I’m missing something… no one was born whole… always searching for the missing parts…

Unsure of where the content of this poem comes from… as I rest on the thoughts that consume me…

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Scarping its way into the world. Teething On Concrete is the newest collection of poetry by Layne Ambrose. Sobering, haunting, and downright depressing. Ambrose takes us on a journey the only way he knows how. Across the razor blades of his mind. Ambrose’s take on what it means to live will not be forgotten any time soon. Whether you are preaching, kneeling, or teething on concrete this collection is here to satisfy your needs.

“Putting this down wasn’t much of an option.”
M.T. Billings, Shaky Town Rebellion

“Jesus…”
Sylvia Ambrose, Cover Artist

“Concrete never tasted so good.”
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I Awake with Bruised Eyes and Hollowed Out Lies…

I look at the world around me, seven minutes freezing cold under the blankets covered in sweat, flashing ideas of the night before, and how I passed out drunk once again. I awaken with burning, stinging, sleepless eyes. The same two eyes I carry with me everywhere I go. I awake with a sense of belonging and at the same time a longing for something else. Awaken but yet I must still be dreaming. Dreaming for something better or something worse my day hasn’t been decided yet. I awake to the uncomfortable feeling of my dick harder than it needs to be. It stands at full attention looking for any attention. Either from me or anyone willing to kill some time. Ready to release one more load or another gallon of piss. The bed is empty and my hands aren’t interested.  The decision no longer up to my brain, but in a gateway smaller than I can imagine. Buried deep inside past the over complicated network of nerves and stretched skin. Made of flesh and blood as is the rest of me. This is every morning. This is a constant. These are the early morning things I think about and I do not know why. Discomfort first and ask questions later.

The bad taste that has slipped into my mouth overnight doesn’t go away even after I try to brush it out or smoke in a replacement taste. My teeth hurt like they have been grinding away layer by layer all night. It’s the little stresses that kill you not the big stuff. It is the little stuff that slowly eats you alive. Taking this and taking that but in the end, they take everything anyway. If you are one of the lucky ones you won’t even notice the discomfort. I notice every little instance and yet I let it happen. Hell, I join in on the pleasure every now and then. Daily. I smoke another with the taste still very much intact. I didn’t need another one, but at this point what is one more? One more nail, one more stake in the heart. Tiny needles pressing against my chest cavity heading for my soul. It wasn’t the taste or even my cock that woke me up today. Woke me up earlier than even death would allow. No, it was a dream, a light version of a nightmare that is my life.

My dream, nightmare, inner vision was about my grandmother. A devil of a woman whom without I wouldn’t be standing here today. Allegedly, there is no scientific facts to back up these claims. I hate my grandmother she was a bitch. Therapy could help me describe my true inner feelings better, but she’d still be a bitch. In the dream she pretends to be a sleep as my grandfather rattles off a list of shit she wants for dinner. He has exact instructions on what she wants and how she wants it to be. Treated like a slave in life and in my dreams. I feel bad for my grandfather. It was no wonder he went a little crazy. It was no wonder they found him in possession of a trunk full of dead cats and a collection of women’s underwear. Luckily it didn’t go any further than that or you might have heard of him. He lives in a cozy little place far removed from society now. Better but he is basically dead. No more dead than the rest of us mind you, but dead enough.

“This but not that. Make sure you get it right or else,” he says in my mind and my dream. Or what the fat bitch is going to get her lazy ass out of bed and kick your ass? She hasn’t left that bed by choice in maybe a year. I’d like to say, but even in my dreams conversations with myself always seem one-sided. He rubs lotion across already weeping wounds. Bed sores left out in the open to fester and farm the guilt of anyone willing to help her. I can see her while she fakes being asleep. Patiently listening to make sure he plays his part as always. His hands kneading the folds of her skin. Sick to my stomach at even the thought. He says one more thing before I awoke, “We know you’re capable of so much more, but we also know you always screw up.” The sound of wet flesh as he sticks his hand deeper into the folds. Elbow deep my mind couldn’t take anymore.

What do you think that the dream meant? I hope it means that she is or will be dying all over again, but she is already dead. Not a loss or a gain just more of the nothing that fills this world. I shouldn’t waste my thought on people that don’t matter, didn’t matter, or don’t care. The brain doesn’t work like that though. They still find their way through long after they have gone away. Slip their way through the cracks no one knew were even there. Tears in the walls they work their way through and leave nothing but rubble behind. How could anyone know what someone else is capable of when they don’t even know themselves? Two turns into another and the ash tray slowly fills up as I watch it grow.

A gun fight erupts outside, a flood down the street drowns hundreds, and yet I sit staring at a screen looking for answers. The noises of life all around me. How am I to live with so many distractions? The hopes, wants, and needs that will always go unfulfilled. There is a need in me to start over again. To walk away and try something different. Every morning the same old thoughts. Hindered by a sense of reason. Each day passes and I bury myself deeper. Living a life without purpose doesn’t leave me much of a reason to do anything different. Drinking doesn’t help any of this go away. Suicide comes easy when the present is only for a moment but the past lasts a life time. Still enough time to jerk off before I have to do anything that is supposed to matter. Still too early to start drinking once again. Too restless to think of anything else. Sitting and waiting is all I seem capable of.

M.T. Billings

I don’t like breaking down my writing so I’m not going to. I say how I feel and that is that. Is it fiction? Not at first, but given enough time and space. It becomes fiction for me. Give it enough time and everything will go away.

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“What do you mean you don’t understand?” She asks as if there is really some secret to her madness. “I just don’t get it. First you say I have to go, and now that I want to go, you’re telling me I can’t go as if I have a real choice in the matter,” he huffs frustrated. “Well, I just don’t want you there, okay?” She doesn’t even bother looking at him. “Why? Because it is some sort of girl thing?” He questions to her absent face. “It’s my bachelorette party so yes, it is a girl’s only type of thing,” she points out looking at him. “I’m going to be there for the marriage so is it really that big of a deal that I go to the party?” He asks annoyed. “It’s a huge deal Steven. This party is for me not you,” she whines.

“Well, it’s kind of for me too,” he interjects into her pity party. “No, it does not have anything to do with you. It is my party and I really don’t want you there,” she lays out. “There’s no reason to get upset at me Stacy. It’s not my fault things worked out this way. It’s hard enough that you’re getting married and I’m still single,” he tries to explain. “Well how do you think I feel about? Don’t you think that this whole situation is even more stressful to me? Regardless though you’re not coming and that is final,” she holds firmly.

“So, what am I supposed to do? Sit outside? Where is this stupid party even at?” He questions rolling his eyes to the thought of it all. “My party’s not stupid and it’s going to be here at the house which means you are going to have to sit behind the curtain,” she informs him. “Sounds like a blast,” he says sarcastically. “Is Stan at least going to be here?” He asks quickly hopeful that he won’t be alone. “What part of it’s a girl thing are you not understanding?” She moans out of annoyance. “I’m so glad we don’t have to share a brain,” she sighs. “Nope just a stomach and a kidney,” he says with a slight sneer. “And for your information I was asking if Stan was going to be on the other side of the curtain with me,” he defends.

“Okay well still no,” she exaggerates. “Stan will be at his own party because that is what happens when two people get married. They each have their own parties to celebrate one last day of freedom,” she talks down to him. “I know that, Stacy. Thanks for clearing that up for me,” he mocks with wide eyes. “I’m glad and just so we are crystal clear Stan will not be at this party, the house next door, or anywhere near here. You will be behind the curtain, you will be quiet, and you will not interfere with my party,” she says in a serious tone. “That’s just great. Not only do I not get to go to the bachelor party, but I have to sit on the other side of a curtain, alone, while you have all the fun,” he starts to pout.  

“Yep, that about sums up your plans for this evening,” she says ignoring him. She drags him along as she lays out the plates and cups for the party. “Do you think one of the ladies will come and sit with me?” He asks in a fake depressed tone. “That’s a big N.O. They all think that you are weird so the chance of one of them leaving the party just to hang out with you is pretty slim,” she laughs. “Wait they think that I am weird? How could they even think that I am weird? If I am weird than you’re weird too. We share the same body,” he rationalizes out loud. “Do we now?” She asks sarcastically. “They think you are weird because you are always staring at them,” she says as though she agrees.

“Well, that is a very unfair opinion about me since you’re always telling me to be quiet whenever they are around and if it isn’t that it’s keep your eyes closed. I’m a guy so of course I’m going to stare every time they want to show you the new under wear they purchased or in the girls locker room,” he says frustrated. There’s a knock at the door. “I’ve had enough with this argument Steven. It is time to be quiet the guests are starting to arrive. We are heading for the door,” she says hurrying for the door. “Thanks for the warning,” he says in a deflated tone.

“Just stay silent and behave Steven, and I will take you to the comic book shop first thing in the morning,” she says as she checks her hair in the mirror. “Fine, but please try to not drink that much. You know how sick I get afterwards,” he requests. “I’ll try to refrain from drinking too much,” she sighs. “Now zip it or no comics,” she says putting on her best fake smile and opening the door. “Who’s ready to party?”

Valerie Hannigan

This isn’t from my book. It was a throw away story and someone liked it. Hopefully, you enjoyed it. I don’t really care, but whatever. Ambrose says I am supposed to talk about what the story is about here. My thoughts and feelings or whatever. (Loud noise in the background… Followed by a long pause…)

The story is about marriage and how the whole institution can feel like there is a dead body attached to you wherever you may go. A soul sucking entity that wants to zap the living life out of you at all times. Did I say dead limb syndrome? I guess you could also say that it is about being a parent as well. If you want you could say it is about anything that makes you happy or sad or nothing at all. I don’t have any siblings so I wouldn’t say it is about that at all. Did I hit the word limit yet?

Check out our shit. Sell your soul before someone else takes it from you. Breathe through your nose and don’t own black sheets. A fountain of information I am not. (Dictated not read…)

Editor’s Note: Her husband is pretty cool… What’s up Steven...

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Getting Harder to Breathe

I spent a life time not on social media. Recently I joined up and now I am behind once again. The world keeps spinning, dredging up old wounds. Starting over can be the hardest part. A lot of us get lost in the darkness forgetting who we are or what we stand for. Mass media has long been the standard for the writer. The credible source. I used to joke, play around, and dream of a world of miss information. Then I grew up, then it actually happened. It wasn’t what I had hoped for. It wasn’t what it seemed like it would be.

The fake news, the real news they try to replace each other. Switch their roles. This isn’t the first time in our history or any body’s history. We went to war over miss information. Sadly, it won’t be the last except this time could very well be the last time. Things have changed since the USS Maine wasn’t attacked by Spain. Information is power and without it we are all weak. Without reliable information and a wave of mass information I find myself being turned off by it all. Isolating myself as everyone else is or is slowly doing. Wait for the history books to be written just so I can know what I lived through. Has it always been like this?

I like to think that it hasn’t until I read old books from the past discussing topics of today. I don’t mean science fiction or future utopias with flying cars. What I mean is topics about abortion, immigration, security, and others. Topics that have never changed or even given a chance to change. Stuck in the same place for over a hundred or more years. Some of these problems have been problems for so long it is amazing they are still problems. Example? Imagine you never learned to use a toilet. Imagine you have been shitting and pissing on yourself since the moment you were born. Do you believe that doing it at eighty is really a problem? No, it is normal. Imagine how much better your life could have been if you had tried to learn. Even after you moved out of the comfort of your parents’ home. Maybe they had different views or concerns about shitting your pants. That’s okay every parent is different, but there comes a time you must decide for yourself what you believe. A time when you enter society and realize we don’t all piss right then and there. We follow order and rule. For better or worse we make rules to avoid the chaos of it all. They don’t always work. Sometimes things have to be changed or given a chance. No one society is perfect or believes the same exact things. We hold many similar views, but many of those have evolved over time. The issues of the past need to stop bleeding out our future.

A hundred years ago they didn’t have to worry about global warming. It wasn’t a thing. Well, it was maybe depending on what you believed caused it, but the point is now we do have to worry about it. Life evolves is what I am getting at and living with your head in the ground isn’t going to help any. We need to stop avoiding the problems and move on from them. You may not believe global warming exist. Okay fine by me no judgement here, but when you get a moment go into your garage. Don’t bother opening the door, and turn your car on. Whether you believe global warming exist or not… you wouldn’t do what I just said to do. No one is that stupid without a purpose. Global Warming is the same concept but on a global scale.

There are a lot of things that need facts and statistics… maybe even a fuck ton of science. But not every thing needs fancy fixens. Maybe if we all cut back on emissions… hold countries and companies accountable… the world will still get hotter. Maybe it won’t. Who the fuck knows, but at the very least the air gets cleaner, the trees come back stronger, and best of all we leave a world for our asshole children to destroy? Isn’t that the real goal in life? We act as if we even try to make a change we might all suffocate to death… It is fucking madness. Ass backwards and always ready to forge ahead. All I am trying to saying is let’s move past these trivial things that hold us down. Shit cost money, shit takes up our time, and unfortunately things change from time to time. Now if you will excuse me, I have to change my pants.

Tune in next week when I discuss abortion in a series… I like to call Alienating Myself From Myself… If you get offended very easily… you are going to love this shit...