Brian Eckert

Writer. Wanderer. Dreamer. Skeptic. Man.

The Globalist

The Globalist puts arsenic in your tea and lead in your pencil.

The Globalist rounds up infants at night and returns them with chips in their heads.

The Globalist has always been at war with you.

 

The Globalist tells you no; you may not have your steel belted radials, now either go off and die or lend a hand with this circus tent.

The Globalist knows you will come to love him, as he once did.

God damn the Globalist for not making me an offer.

Oh Boy, It’s Raining Again

In the Pacific Northwest

you can get quite depressed

in winter, with its clouds and its rain.

Sure, the plants are all green

but what does that mean

when you’re slowly going insane?

 

The locals don’t mind

the lack of sunshine

it sure beats the snow, they insist.

But at least when its cold

there’s not all this mold

growing up out of the mist.

 

A queer little breed,

these Northwesterners, indeed

between them and the world, a cloud buffer.

They say they don’t mind it

but most folks, I’m reminded

find it harder to change than to suffer.

 

The rain does bring flowers

and sometimes, mid-shower

I venture out into the fray.

Be still, cabin fever!

Soon enough, I will leave here.

Let me make what damp joy I may.

 

Splitter splat

on my PVC hat,

the rain seeping through to my shirt.

Quack,

says a duck, a most unfortunate fuck

who makes his home in the dirt.

 

Dribble drabble plop

the rain it won’t stop.

It’s turning the folks into shrooms.

But oh, they don’t care,

with their recirculated air,

pleasuring themselves in their rooms.

 

Later on in the year, just like that

clouds will clear.

By then, I should be on my way.

Sentimental and sad, I’ll swear,

winter wasn’t so bad.

Perhaps for a bit longer I’ll stay.

Darkness

Night passes much quicker than you think it does.

Fall asleep and you might miss it.

 

Day, in its dawn to dusk tyranny,

oppresses the Darkness,

keeping moon and stars

under lock and key.

 

There is greater wisdom in one

moonlit night than in 1,000 sunlit days.

The stars remind us we are infinite beings.

Suppressed night-knowledge

hidden from children who gaze, like Narcissus, into lighted pools

blinded by the glare of their own setting sun.

 

Darkness is not something to be skipped over,

but the thing-in-itself.

 

I wake in the middle of the night of a full moon,

see the world bathed in incandescent light,

and understand there is an entire life I have never experienced.

 

The night is full of strange creatures

who’ve crawled out from under their shadows

longing for the light they will drown in.

 

I breathe damp, mushroom air outside my window, look up at the stars and wonder

how it can all be like this.

The world could be anything, but instead it’s like this.

Horus

The Stranger

I have a friend who measures his life in women:

The Age of Shelley; the Age of Jessica; the Age of Meghan.

It’s himself he’s never met, whose face he cannot remember when

he closes his eyes.

In the Heart of the Desert

Keetmanshoop sleeps.

A ghostly pallor hangs about the city from the street lamps that still work. Dark figures move down the street like phantoms. No crickets here. No peepers. All the familiar sounds that mark the night are absent. There is just a faint hum in the air. I have no idea what makes the sound. It is another mystery of the desert.

Miner’s torch mounted on my head, I creep low along the path to the mechanic shop.

In the dark, The Beast nearly blends in. Only the glint of the chrome stands out. I try the handle. Locked. I take out my pocket knife and jam the awl into the lock, twisting it. A click and it gives way.

The cool leather seats give me gooseflesh even though I sweat, my heart racing. The wheel is smooth under my hand, the leather supple. The gauges look like they were crafted by a watchmaker, the levers forged in a blacksmith’s shop.

I feel around for the circuit board under the steering column, pop it open. A nest of wires spills out. I flick on the torch and find the right ones, slice off their ends, twist them together.

The Beast roars to life. The Desert takes notice.

I step on the gas. The Beast rocks. Seeking prey. Meant for one thing: acceleration in a straight line.

I ease the column shifter into reverse and The Beast obeys, surging backwards with gravel cracking under the white-rimmed tires, wanting to break free, pulling like a powerful dog on a chain, wanting to sink its teeth into the night air at cruising speed.

Vagrants hunch on the side of the road. Resist the urge to run them down like curs.

The open road. 2nd gear. The Beast throbs beneath me. The desert is all around, but I cannot see it. There is only the strip of tarmac illuminated by The Beast’s eyes.

I feel the desert. We communicate telepathically. It waits for one mistake that will send me careening into its midst. The desert is patient. It waits for ages. For one mistake.

3rd gear. The sound of the engine is an arrogant bellow, demanding to be heard. Only there are none to hear, save the Desert. But it is not listening. It is waiting.

A pair of eyes in the road ahead. Never has it heard a sound like this—of 8 cylinders in the dead of night—8 roaring, pounding, yawping pistons turning over in the dead of night.

I do not slow down. Whatever it is cannot stand up to The Beast. Feel the power of evolution.

Nature is not beautiful on its own. Nature is incomplete.

In the black of night, in the heart of the desert, seen by nobody, the 8 cylinders screaming man’s agony at the world—this is beauty. This a secret between me and the Desert.

And it ain’t talkin. It is waiting in silence.

Bloodless

I.

Remember yourself on this day;

The way you looked, the way you talked, the way the sun shone on you;

The way you wanted so badly for something to happen.

 

II.

A friend suffered a nervous breakdown the other day and I thought,

“Oh, good for him!”

as if it were a wedding announcement, a

pronouncement of man and grief,

Together forever

til death do them part.

 

III.

Remember yourself on this day;

The way you thought, the way you moved, the color of your face, the color of your teeth.

 

IV.

Visiting my friend, he told me it was a constant effort to disavow the world and

the unpleasant thoughts that plagued him.

 

“Thoughts of this earth, that

live and die like us,

live when they’re fed and die when they’re not,

like us.”

 

V.

Remember the way he looks today;

The way he moves, the way the light shines off of his mother-of-pearl eyes

into rearranging depths.

 

VI.

“I am so

full of information,

overstuffed with book things,

I could explode;

something must come out.

There must be a bloodletting.”

 

VII.

I understand why some people cut themselves, for

the warmth of the blood and the immediacy of its presence;

the feeling of something happening.

 

We offer ourselves up for sacrifice

daily and rise from the promise of our life given.

 

The ritual of happiness, the ritual of work, the ritual of love.

Never real happiness or real work or real love.

Always a blood sacrifice,

Never a sacrificial God.

 

VIII.

Til Death do us part, let us Pray:

The Truth will not make you happy;

The truth is a mouth full of sand.

The Truth will not set you free;

The truth is a 3-legged dog.

 

IX.

“I so often feel a ghost.

I yearn to have my blood back. I miss the weight of it in my veins, a great tide rising and falling with the moon cycles.”

I would see the whole world destroyed, just to feel something.”

Raft

v

Treefolk

No Satisfaction

The tendency in life to never be satisfied with what we have–we get a taste of something and want more, more, more! Riding what was a simple, unexpected pleasure to a manic pitch of indulgence, running the machinery off a cliff, ending up worse than if we’d never taken pleasure in the first place.

All because we couldn’t simply enjoy something for what it was.

Why must we always appropriate things for ourselves?

We kill the ones we love, and we kill them by loving them.

New Year’s Resolution

Summer lies sleeping and I’m another year

Older, tireder, dumber, obsoleter.

Greenery.
Brownery.
Clownery.

Horton hears a who and I don’t care.

Duck wings like wind chimes.

Young girls riding their bicycles for the last time.

So many problems in the world;

I’m supposed to pick one and make it my own, while

Daylight scares the daylights out of me.

 

Fall is the feeling of comfortably sliding into death.

Come winter, nothing matters anymore.

Calm After the Storm

Jim Creek Trail, Arapaho National Forest

Winter Park Resort, Colorado

St. Elmo’s Fire

St. Elmo’s Fire. St. Elmo’s Fire! St.Elmo’s Fire?

Words flashed into a mind on a teleprompter.

St. Elmo’s Fire: a place? a type of lighting? a meteorological phenomenon?

St. Elmo’s Fire: a pre-man Darkness, heart of Dark Africa.

St. Elmo’s Fire: a seafood canning company based in New Orleans.

New Orleans. St. Elmo’s Fire.

St. Elmo’s Fire left between the cushions of the couch. New Orleans went through the wash.

St. Elmo’s Fire and New Orleans drip-dripping on my nose but it isn’t raining.

St. Elmo’s Fire, I despair.

Ice Age

Frozen

Satori

Ten Commandments of Postmodernism

  1. God is dead.
  2. No idol is false.
  3. All is in vain.
  4. Forget the Sabbath; nothing is holy.
  5. Honor thy neighbor at the expense of your mother and father.
  6. Thou shalt not kill time.
  7. Thou shalt not commit to adulthood.
  8. Only the Government shall steal.
  9. You may bear false witness so long as it advances the Cause.
  10. Covetousness is an engine of economic growth.

Killing Time on the Killing Floor

He seemed sober, but it wasn’t noon yet. That would change soon, in the dark confines of a restaurant one mile from the winter’s beach, on a cloudy last day of the year, amidst wood paneling and benches.

This place, in the style of a German beerhall, is the sort of place where the as-yet-to-be-named Führer proclaimed to stunned, sodden patrons that the Revolution had begun.

The Führer before me, wearing epaulets of tanning bed flesh, unbeknownst to him carries on the fractal discourse of history.

All of this has happened before and will happen again.

Over several pints we discuss the relative merits of libertarianism, which seems to be the party of choice for high-functioning alcoholics.

Sensing my disinterest in what he has to say he turns his attention to the waitress, a woman of vaguely Eastern European appearance (I guess Polish; he says Bulgarian). Her eyes reflect the ancestral ache of recognizing this little Führer before her. Heading him off at the pass she informs us that she will be attending First Night with her boyfriend.

Rebuffed twice now he sulks in-between long draws of ale.

A thinly veiled hatred is what keeps our friendship alive, because we secretly require the admiration of those we disdain.

Hate, not love, makes the world go round. If all were love equilibrium would quickly be reached. There would be no more “progress.” All Führers great and small know this.

We get into his BMW and drive the coastal highway, remarking on the stunning regularity of seaside strollers. During winter the world is more opaque. Words hang in the air like breath. The long easy days of summer seem unthinkable. Everyone complains about the cold but without it their lives would collapse under the weight of levity.

He turns the radio loud, lights a cigarette. I ask him to stop so I can stretch my existential legs. The sea—rolling uninterrupted all the way to Mars, tides unable to break the spell of destiny—is so dull it makes me furious.

There are seven hours left in the year, though you wouldn’t know it by the god awful slow plodding walkers who flap their arms in the cold mist like drunken seagulls.

Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground

Spirit Falls (Andrea Falls), Cottage Grove, Oregon

Coastal

2016-01-23

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Gully