Austin Prey

Author's details

Name: Austin Prey
Date registered: June 29, 2011

Latest posts

  1. Drowning Dreams — September 7, 2011
  2. Twenty-Two — August 22, 2011
  3. To: Mom — August 16, 2011
  4. My Friends — July 28, 2011
  5. Bring on the Rain — July 16, 2011

Most commented posts

  1. Twenty-Two — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Sep 07

Drowning Dreams

A long crawl to my bed
With a hundred proofed head
Forgetting all the words I’ve said
I regret the stumbles ahead.

Courtesy of: Aimanness Photography

It’s becoming my water
An ecstacy bottle
The result of my daughter
Who gives me nothing
But emotional slaughter.

Who could blame the hate in her face
I too had a dad of disgrace

He taught me to cheat
To beat women up
And make them give up
Standing on their feet.

Control is a moral
Abuse it with loud oral
Drown them above the beautiful coral.

Seeing colors as their last breath stops
Not realizing she managed to call the cops
Put away for multiple lives.

Thank God I woke up
And knew I was all right.

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Aug 22

Twenty-Two

It’s a good day to be a palindromic age.

Photographer: Bryan Gosline

I was supposed to be over milestones by now. My sociology professors would tell me that it’s human nature to seek meaning in that which is inherently meaningless. The passing of days, the rotation of the earth…we are desperate to imbue these natural phenomena with some sort of greater purpose, so that we are not driven mad with nihilism.

My sociology professors would say that, but then, I’ve always believed I could transcend human nature through pure rationality. It’s a little arrogant, I admit.

I think I expected to be happier, by now. If you asked the sixteen-year-old me what future she envisioned for her barely more mature self, she would probably have answered: a small but cozy apartment, a tight clique of friends with similar interests and disparate personalities, weekends strolling to the bookstore and picking up a guilty pleasure read on a whim, or else checking out that latest art gallery installation. She wouldn’t have imagined days when it was difficult to get out of bed, or nights when it was difficult to stop crying. She wouldn’t have thought of weeks and weekends of barely enough sleep to survive, pushing through to finish just one more project for just one more class that she couldn’t care less about if she tried.

We never really do imagine that, when we think of the future.

I think the sixteen-year-old me would have been intimidated if she met the person I am today. Intimidated and maybe even cowed,  by the aloofness, the unforgiving idolization of intellect, and the imitation of maturity. She would be a little disdainful, too, because even at sixteen I would have recognized the jadedness that I now call second nature for the fraud it was. Is.

At sixteen, I made a document of a hundred and one things I wanted to do in a thousand and one days. Learn Japanese. Learn ASL. Learn how to play Bridge. Get a driver’s license. Not procrastinate for a whole week. Hold someone’s hand. Write a comic strip. Get a tattoo.

The list is painful to read. Not because most of the things were never accomplished—that I resigned myself to long ago—but because I was once naive enough to believe that the things I cared about at sixteen would be the same things I cared about at nineteen. I guess the adults were right about this one.

About a month later, I wrote a list of one hundred facts about myself as an exercise for a diary entry. I guess I was feeling introspective that winter.

The self-recrimination that wafts through those particular pages is practically toxic.

Part of me wants to reach through the years to that (stereotypically) angry and bitter teenager and tell her that everything will be okay. The other part of me wants to laugh at my hypocrisy, because things aren’t okay, not when okay is defined by two pills, taken once daily, do not mix with alcohol.

But you know, things aren’t bad, either. They’re not a teenager’s idle daydreams, but they’re okay. And sometimes, even when I don’t have an iron-fisted control over everything in my life, things turn out alright. Eventually.

 

I guess that’s the thing I’m trying to teach myself, these days.



 

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Aug 16

To: Mom

 

Photographer: Sean Dreilinger

 

Who I am,
Because of you.
I spread my wings,
It was all so new.
I looked to the skies,
An ocean of blue.
You showed me how,
You let me go.
Who I am,
Because of you.

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Jul 28

My Friends

All my friends where have you run?

You have run away from a choice

I have chosen and done

I have chosen not to buy or use your drugs

And now I’ll be missing all your hugs

Every time I see you guys pass by

I can’t say hi

And tears fall from my eyes for I’ll always miss

Our great times

I’ve tried to go back to my other friends

But they say

“It’s your fault you put our friendship to an end!”

Now I have no one to go to and no one to see

But don’t worry mom and dad

I’m not going to kill myself over a little misery

I just don’t know where I’m going,

Photographer: Gerald Brantner

Or what I’m doing,

In the American land of the free

Everything has it’s good and bad

My decision was good but it makes me sad

The consequences of drugs was losing my friends

But I hold my head up high because I knew

I would make more before I’m dead

But it’s the old ones I want

Because they were so good to me!

I’m not going back

My choice has been made

And when I wake up tomorrow

It will be a brand new day

To make new friends

I know I wont stop

until the end

 

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Jul 16

Bring on the Rain

Days run even longer now that you are not by my side,
As the crisp fall air steals away the sun.
A cool breeze surreptitiously flows past me, through me,
I
notice only because of the chilled licks of September air,
And leaves dancing bewitchingly in circles.

The memories suddenly begin washing over me,
A wave of emotions crashing into my broken soul.
I fill
my lungs with a deep cool breath of air
As I am engulfed within the convolution of emotions.

Ah, the feel of you again, bittersweet.

Photographer: Filippo Arturo Nesci

 

So many sensations at once,
The indulgence of your touch,
The fervency of your breath lingering over my skin
The ecstasy of your sweet voice in my head.
All of it rivaled only by the liquid warmth rolling down over my cheeks.

The sun is setting on the horizon now,
The images of your stunningly perfect face easily putting it to shame
As the dark clouds roll in.

Your warmth is challenged by the cool rain, intruding on my happiness.
Individual drops
splash onto your picture, be it rain or tears

You are slipping away from me.

Again.

The picture falls through my fingers and floats to the ground,
As I try to hide my eyes.

Bring on the Rain.

 

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Jul 14

Chandelier

Lord Marymuck the Fourth and his wife, Elisabeth Marymuck, live in an over-sized mansion that never really gets the appreciation it deserves. Chandeliers and foliage erupt at every ceiling and corner, a diamond here, an unknown species of plant there. Long, extended corridors lead to bizarre, naked quarters usually only occupied by a bed and maybe a petite night table, and of course, a gargantuan chandelier that swings merrily throughout the night in each room.
And in a formulaic, clichéd fashion, Elisabeth Marymuck is improperly fed up with all this gold and glamor, as she always is and always has been. In times of pseudo-trouble, you can always hear her shouting,

“Who needs riches anyway?” “Why are there chandeliers in every room?” “Why can he afford chandeliers and not some new shoes, for me, why can’t he get me some new shoes?”
Women, no matter the era, always need their shoes. 

Elisabeth can scarcely stand the spectacle or odor or communication of Lord Marymuck, which is why she obeys his every word. She finds it rather simple to do errands for the Lord, and concurrently run off with another man or a woman who would give her needed guidance.

On this particular day, Elisabeth is courting Nathaniel Maple, a slob of a man, who carries himself just about as well as he carries his demeanor, which overall is quite poor. Nathaniel is somewhat of a beggar and a vagrant, and he lives accordingly to his chosen lifestyle, in a close to conked bunker of a house that suffers from floorboards older than the Bahamas (which, at this point in time, have only been under British rule for about one hundred years) and windows scattered and shattered throughout – the only pane still in tact with glass glossier than any chandelier. Immersed in this senseless conglomeration of luxury and vagrancy, Elisabeth and Nathaniel sat wide-eyed.

They sat by this window with tea that churned and twisted whenever milk was supplemented, silver spoons with charred outlines resting gleefully in a consoling brunette soup. 

Nathaniel notices how giant and pretty Elisabeth’s lips are. Nathaniel can’t help hearing white noise when her lips mov, wholly entranced by her arched, flapping jaw and a sinuous, sinister mouth that means nothing but trouble that he can’t and won’t oppose. He sits there sipping and nodding, sipping and nodding, sipping and nodding. He sits there awestruck and eager.

“It is quite an unfortunate affair, Nathaniel. I never meant to be pretentious – I was raised mild and caring, like any good woman today. And I just had to send it all tumbling down with marriage – a cruel, never ending gag that landed me where I am today, a would-be adulteress who can only complain about having everything.”
Elisabeth slams her hand on the table – gently enough to keep the tea in the glass, hard enough to make it spiral into oblivion and form little patterns of circles.
“And look at where solitude landed me,” says Nathaniel, “a house by the abbey I don’t and won’t believe in, a life practically constructed by monotony and a pitiable income. You’ve got a way with whining, Elisabeth. You’ve certainly got a way with things, Elisabeth.”

“I might have a way with things, but I’m not sure I get away with things. And don’t complain about monotony. You, my less than lovely Nathaniel, have yet to indulge yourself in marriage, which is the central focus of all monotony, especially with my husband.”

“And you, my disastrous dandelion, have not lived a life brimmed with sitting and waiting for the sun to come up, and then sitting and waiting again for it to go down. My life is the very designation of monotony.”

“You use your laziness and hunger for pity as an excuse to act like you’re full of monotony, but your life is just as rich and endearing as that of any beggar. You’re simply a beggar with a home.”

“I’m begging you to stop this conversation, it’s getting quite monotonous.”

And Elisabeth did stop the conversation – by sitting more aggressively than any married woman should on another man’s lap, her legs wrapping around his waist and the chair, her dress draping to the floor and a kiss that slaps Nathaniel in the face and calls him his bitch. He latches onto Elisabeth’s hair and pulls it back, making sure she was looking at him, right at him, right into him.

“Elisabeth, I am not an immoral man.”

“Today we will cleverly substitute morality for immorality, shall we?”

While Elisabeth and Nathaniel were climaxing in a harmonious sequence that even a symphony would admire, Lord Marymuck was purchasing a luminous centerpiece for the master bedroom, a chandelier so large, exquisite and posh that it only made sense to be placed amongst a colony of other overly priced items. It takes eleven men to lift and two more to install the behemoth. It has diamonds the size of grapefruit. It takes up the entire ceiling. After the installation is completed, one of the workers, the man who had sold Lord Marymuck the chandelier, notes his concern about the width and weight of the behemoth.

“You may express your concern, Mr. Avington. But do not be surprised when I take your concern and place it with the rest of the logs in the fire.”

“But, Lord Marymuck, the ceilings, even in a house as … enchanting as yours, may not have the proper support for an object of this magnitude.”

Lord Marymuck tilts his head up, gazing admiringly into the chandeliers lozenge eyes, a man in pure love with an inanimate object. He grins.

“Mr. Avington, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave for the immense amount of disrespect you’ve brought into my estate. A HOUSE? You think this is a HOUSE? This is a mansion, practically a castle, and you tell me how ‘enchanting’ you think it is. Well of course it’s bloody enchanting! I’ve put my heart and my soul and my grit and my labor into this home. Every pound I’ve ever earned through backbreaking, physically exerting and mentally strenuous effort has been put into this mansion, and I’ll be damn damned if a worm of a chandelier salesmen tells me I can’t have something – anything – whatever it may be.”

Avington sighs and tips his hat. His small wicker frame glasses rest on the point of his nose, and he scratches his beard tenderly before opening his mouth.

“I was sure a man born into riches would be a fiend, but a despicable liar and bigot, that I didn’t expect. You haven’t done a day’s work in your life, Marymuck. You’ve inherited an entire dynasty of wealth and riches and you go and ruin it with your personality. Well, it’s a damn shame, and a good day to you.” Avington tips his hat, stampeding out, impressed with himself, his shoulders back and his chest pouting. Marymuck has forgotten to listen and instead peers off into the yawning depths of the chandelier. 

Elisabeth arrived at the mansion just before dusk, only to find Lord Marymuck in the master bedroom salivating in front of another mammoth, tacky piece of jewelry hanging from the ceiling. Marymuck is lying with his body in a crucifix, his pupils popping out his head, eyes bloodshot and set dead center for his newfangled show piece. Elisabeth plops into the bed beside him, still dressed, hair messed, a frown settled on her face as it does quite often when she lies next to her husband.

“It’s quite magnificent, isn’t it Lis?” asks Marymuck. ” There are four hundred and thirty seven diamonds spanning the width of almost twenty eight bulldogs. I’ll never take my eyes off of it. Even when I leave for Winchester, this image willl still be singed into my cortex and I will love it, as I love you, Elisabeth, with every fiber of my heart.”

“Thank you, Edmond” is all Elisabeth said.

In the glow of the morning Lord Marymuck sends for a carriage and hastily speeds away to Winchester, a kaleidoscope montage reeling through his head. Elizabeth awakes in the middle of the afternoon with her dress, and frown, still on.

She sends a servant to fetch Nathaniel Maple from his post as a professional hermit, and he arrives with a box of exotic tea from places Elisabeth has never heard of before, including a Maldivian blend punched with spices. They drink it, a subtle mention of bitter raspberry melting onto their tongues, and a sunny temperament running down their throats. They don’t say a word, because they both know why Nathaniel was there. When they had finished drinking their tea they fling themselves at one another in a precise, perfect moment that could have only been achieved through the absence of syllables.

Carried by all the moaning and sweating and panting and biting and hair pulling and choking and slapping, they move from the dining room to the master bedroom, naked, relentless, ready, ecstatic, and bold – much too bold. And while their heads burst with amorous complication, the bed swaying back and forth into the wall with each thrust, the delicate infrastructure of wood and plaster rupture into two holes that would make any man who loved his house cry. But they keep going, lost in a roaring, overused passion we all have seen, switching positions ceaselessly, never comfortable, always enjoying themselves, planning again for an in sync orgasm that would shake the foundations of everything they thought they knew about sex. And when they are both on the verge of shaking out the mansion, the chandelier which has four hundred and thirty seven diamonds in it that spans the length of twenty eight English bulldogs stopps swinging so merrily and instead comes thundering down with an inevitable crash that compresses Elisabeth’s and Nathaniel’s internal organs and crams the bed with blood.

Lord Marymuck returns two days later from Winchester, after receiving word from a servant about an eerie screech coming from the master bedroom. When the doors were opened, Marymuck’s eyes bloated with tears: his beautiful, leggy wife on top of a poor, broken down man, and a chandelier topping both of them. A ménage à trois from hell, or perhaps even France. Marymuck moseys to the wreckage, frailly stroking a diamond still connected to the chandelier, plump, lucid tears racing down his cheeks to his chin.

“What … what have they done to you?” is all Edmond Marymuck can say.

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Jul 13

Overdose

And she didn’t want the doctor to know
The drugs hidden in her veins
Her stomach and her brain
Naked, bruised from being beat
Signs of rape in her unconsious sleep
Saline drip to dilute the numb pain
Adrenaline to keep the heart pumping
Mom crying in the corner
Staring at me with a plead of help
As I lift her daughter up for the x-ray
The mom gets on her knees to pray
Not caring about the radiation
Just wanting to stay
But she can’t be near
She can’t hear what the doctor has to say
Officers take her out of the room
I Set her daughter back onto the cassette
Time passing in slow motion
As I set up the x-ray machine
SUDDENLY
Eyes roll back into her head
Siezing body shaking in the bed
Beeping stops
Heart rate drops
Instant CPR
Flushed red in my face
Screams in closed cramped space
My roommate takes over for me
Sweat falls, knowing the mom has lost it all
I back my machine away
Passing the mom nervously
She is shouting questions in worry
One look into her eyes
I grin “I’m sorry”
And she starts to cry.
Then to my surprise we get a beep
Rushing back before she falls again to sleep
X-ray exposed, an image is formed
“You’re Central Line looks good”
More drugs are administered
I pull away from my machine, look at my list
“room 7 is next”
Sweat starts to dry
But on my way there
A rush of men in blue
I look back to the trauma room
And hear someone say
“Some people just can’t be saved”

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Jul 12

A Melting Candle

Liquid courage drowning in my veins
Angry liver seems to be my favorite game
Is this the price to pay to live?
After losing all the puzzle pieces
I finally found the confidence to give
Grandpa dies

Photographer: Valentina Nesci

No more superman idol
Didn’t matter how much he read his bible
Flooded alcohol escaping as burning tears
Red blood shot eyes exposing my fears
Holding air tightly only feeling my skin
This time I’m on the other end of the mirror
Connecting to all the families that lost
No x-ray today
The patient has passed away
The backyard creek side beds
Grow scenic spider webs
Who will throw rocks in the water for the stray dogs
As they sleep at his door waiting for it to open
Their tennis balls fading in the sunlight
Never heard the creaks of this house
Until I took my last steps out
Closed the door and locked it away
Now I’m sitting on the rocks of Butte creek
With my nickname shirt “The Geek”
A bottle full of courage
To get me through the day
The drive home and my unfortunate birthday

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Jul 07

I Knew A Man

I know a man, I see him every day
Its always the same
He wakes up in the morning and puts on his suit
He grabs a cup of coffee and watches the news

I know a man, who goes to work
Its always the same
He files papers
He looks out the window
and wonders what the sun feels like

I know a man, who comes home from work
Its always the same
He eats dinner
He watches TV
and wonders what the night feels like

But on that day, I didn’t see the man
There was no suit, it lay crumpled on his bed
The news went unwatched and the paper lay soaked on the lawn
The coffee went cold in its pot, and the cup gathered dust

On this day, the man told me
He wanted to know how the Sun felt
What the Night smelled like, and to feel the hairs on the back of his neck
Today this man lived… and I never saw him again.

Photographer: Valentina Nesci

I see a man, He is starring back at me from the mirror
This man is smiling
I don’t know this man. Not anymore.

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Jul 01

Active Imagination


“Save me, Mary!”
Mary fell to her hands and knees in the soil and reached down to her screaming brother. She knew her brand new dress was ruined now, but she never liked it anyway.
“Can you grab my hand, Matthew?”
The boy jumped, arms stretched and palms white with strain, but his hands met only the moist and earthy walls of the ditch. He yelled, voice cracking, “Go get Daddy!”
“You shouldn’t have been playing near the big ditch! Mommy said so, Matthew! This is your fault!”
“I’m sorry!” The boy’s face was caked with filth now, the tears running down his cheeks leaving gaps like rivers.
“It’s gonna be dark soon! I can’t see anything!”
“Mary! Go find Daddy, quick! Please! Please!” Matthew’s knees buckled, and he wept, wiping his nose on his bare arm.
Mary stood up and brushed her long red hair out of her eyes. She was used to the responsibilities of an older sibling, despite her single-digit age. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the sunset, always a beautiful sight on her farm, a place free from the blinding street lamps of the city. She ran barefoot along the dusty trail leading back to her small house. It was already too dark for her to make out the tops of the tall trees surrounding the path and , twice, she nearly tripped over an embedded rock.

Daddy wasn’t home. Neither was Mommy.

Mary noticed their car was missing and realized that tonight was her parent’s weekly night out by themselves. She felt a void grow inside her. The cold sweat made her itch. Mary tried to remember where her Daddy kept that big coil of rope. She had seen him use it only the day before to move his horses through the fields. After he was done, she recalled, he had stowed it in the cellar. This thought made her slow down. She did not like the cellar: It was too empty, too dry.

Mary loved the warm, wet air of her farm. All of it except that cellar. But she knew she must be brave for Matthew.
The cellar doors looked older than the house, but the wood had not rotted away. Mary lifted one and climbed through the portal. She flicked the light switch, activating the solitary bulb dangling like a hanged man from the ceiling. It lit the vast variety of tools and equipment stored down here, some new and virtually spotless, some old and rusted over. She spied the rope lying an arm’s length away and gathered it up, when a voice said, “You can’t help him.”
Mary gave a small whimper, turning to the sound. There was something standing in the gap between the antique lawnmower and the shovel. Mary’s head hurt to look at it. It was many shapes at once and it extruded itself through Mary’s vision. She only gaped and tears started to form in her eyes. It smiled in front of Mary and past Mary. It said, slowly, “The rope will not help him. It is his time.” Its voice was many voices. And it was nonsense.

“Do not worry,” it said. “We will not harm you. You have never done anything wrong in your life. It is his time. It is not your fault. It was an accident.” It meshed with the geometry of the cellar and in an unquantifiable instant it was gone. Mary found her legs and ran. She did not stumble once running down the path.
Mary could barely see Matthew through the growing night, sitting prone at the bottom of the ditch, his knees brushing his hair. She called out to him, “Matthew, it’s OK! I found the rope!” She tied an end of it to a nearby tree and dropped the other end down to her brother. “Climb up!”
Matthew gave a sniff, nodded slowly, and started to climb just as something formed from many impossible directions around the two and coalesced at the bottom of the ditch behind the boy. It walked slowly to Matthew and touched his shoulder. He instantly dropped off the rope and turned to face it. It said, “It was too great a drop. Come Matthew, it is your time now.” Matthew nodded. Mary screamed. The unfathomable creature wrapped itself around the boy, small fibers twitching and writhing around his flesh, mingling, dancing. It was gone quickly. Matthew fell to his knees.
“No!” Mary shouted. She swung herself over the side of the ditch and slid down the rope. She reached for her brother just as he rolled over, almost a somersault, and she heard something break inside him, like a dry branch cracking. Matthew was lying on his side now, his head twisted in a wrong angle. He was pale. Mary screamed and screamed.
She didn’t know how long she spent in that ditch next to her dead brother. She found herself shuffling weakly along the path back to her house, moaning like an injured animal.

She was thinking about the creature, shifting itself around her brother. About watching the boy stumble headlong and fall for too long. She was thinking of its voice, that impossible voice, and she knew what it said and she did not understand.
When her parents pulled into the driveway, she was hunched over the abyss. She saw them scramble out of their seats to kneel down next to her.
“Mary, what’s wrong?” Her father cupped her shoulder gently. Her mother was already crying, as if she had known when it had happened. She said her dead brother’s name. Her father picked her up in his arms. She described the gaping wound in the earth where Matthew lay. Mary knew only brief flashes of the path as her parents, her family, ran as fast as they could, Mary dangling from her father’s arms.
And they were at the ditch, and Mommy looked down and could just make out the pale form of her baby boy, his neck twisted, still. She collapsed in the dirt and wailed. Daddy placed Mary on the ground beside him.
“How did it happen?” He spoke with great effort. Mary wiped her face on her dress and looked up at her father.
“Matthew fell in. I told him not to play there but he did anyway. I told him I would get help but you and Mommy were gone. I went into the cellar to get the rope-” Mary stopped here. She started crying again, and so did Daddy. Mary whispered, “There was something in the cellar. It wasn’t a person. It said that- it was awful, Daddy. It said that it was Matthew’s time. It said it was his time. And I ran back with the rope and Matthew nearly got out but it got him, Daddy, it got him and it killed him.” Mary was sobbing now. Daddy pressed his fingers to his jawline and looked at her. “Mary, this is no time for stories. Tell me what happened.” He spoke now with patience.
“But I did! I just did!”
Mary ran to her mother, and they curled and embraced together. Daddy walked slowly to the edge of the ditch and looked down.
He had warned both of them: the drop was fatal.

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