These empty streets

i drove to my father’s house
in Massachusetts.
a group of us made a large
dump run for my step-mother.
we even pulled the old pool table
out from the basement.
i held onto one end as a neighbor
cut it in half so we could
fit it into the trailer
i felt a bit sad then

after everyone left
i stayed with my step-mother
and listened to some of
my father’s music
he was damn good
but gone now

i walked into each room,
a house i lived in
as a small child,
and walked around the yard.
so much had changed
but everything was the same

eventually i loaded my truck and
drove home on streets filled with
traffic, but i only saw blank and
empty faces, gawking and waving
unhappily at slow drivers

i wonder if they know they’re alive

-M. Taggart

poem – and it’s just fine

this empty feeling
greets me daily

it’s that simple

i don’t care to write
to go for my drives
to talk

although i do try
it feels fake

people text me
and call
sometimes i answer

i don’t feel sad
just empty

maybe this is just the
new me

and i grin because
no way in hell

I cleaned and oiled
one of your old
rifles yesterday
I wasn’t sure if it
would explode
I closed my eyes
and pulled the trigger
Passion filled my lungs
and my heart
You did that for me
Dad
And your rifle is
just fine

-M. Taggart

poem

Today, while snow blowing,
Gavin was inside alone.

He’s four.
I entered the house
‘Gavin, you good?’

‘Oh yea, butt crack.’

I went back to work.
At the end of the driveway,
some 340 ft away,

Daydreams can cripple

It’s closing in on 7 PM
Gavin is downstairs
watching a movie
yelling out the names
of dinosaurs I can’t pronounce

Maybe it’s time I daydream
about smiles
and bouncing hair

-M. Taggart

poem

Sadness is blank
It pulls relentlessly until
there’s nothing left to feel
And we’re there
Haunted

-M. Taggart

One year ago was a very unfriendly time for my family. I thought I might be fine. I am not.

I’m Fine – Short Story

Short Story
Fiction
Written by -M. Taggart

I’m Fine

 

His father never called him. And when he called his father, it was generally ignored. If he wanted to see his father he drove to his father’s house and knocked on the door. Sometimes the door wouldn’t open. Other times it would open before he reached the steps. He never knew which father he was going to get. He was never asked inside. His father was too ashamed of the interior of the house. They’d sit on the steps and talk sports. Or about beer. Sometimes they would talk about government corruption and always they talked about humanity. Never, though, did he step inside.

One time he drove to his father’s house to find his father passed out drunk in the driveway. He went to town, bought a six pack of beer, and came back. His father was still passed out in the driveway. He didn’t care. He loved his father as he was. Even if his father didn’t love himself. When his father finally woke, he offered him a beer. It was still cold. His father took it, drank half down, and said “Did you see who they voted in? This isn’t for self desire to love what’s to come, it’s for self duty to be what is!” He wasn’t sure what that meant, but they talked about politics while drinking beer for the next two hours.

A large cloud, shaped like a simple circle, produced shade on the mountainside. He thought it looked nice. He liked how the wind was just strong enough to push the leaves in a continuous hurry. It was easy to watch.

He used a stick to draw a circle in the dirt. He was sitting on a rock just above the water line. The riverbank mud and dirt was spattered with leaves and smelled of organic waste. It was going to get worse before better. He knew this. He wished the getting worse part would go nicely on him the way a mean dog eases up just before biting and instead of biting only shows teeth and raises its fur. Maybe death is like that. Maybe you only feel bad for a small amount of time, and then you’re free. He drew an ‘X’ in the circle.

The cloud had moved on and now he thought the mountainside looked bright and alive. He tossed the stick into the river, watched the creation of water rings disperse, and pulled his knees into his body. He felt as though he were hovering just about his body. Looking forward, searching for another kind of shade, he saw double as tears filled his eyes, then saw nothing because he would not blink.

He missed his father. He wished he’d been able to spend more time with him. Now the option of time is gone. He wanted to drive to his father’s house, sit on the steps, and talk. Because talking to his father’s steps is better than not talking at all. And he thought if he ever has a child he’ll sit on those same steps and tell exactly how everything was instead of hiding how it should be.

 

**

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https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/m-taggart/

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Odd Walking Thoughts – a poem

Time can leave now-
Tonight I will light a cigar while thinking about
the normality of time and why I feel it fits me,
not the other way around, and why I’m able to look at
a star and wonder if having seen this one star
tonight carries more importance than having seen
it the previous night- is the difference in one night
not the proof of existing- and does this lend an ear to tomorrow-
and now someone I do not know – is taking my space
asking without permission things I cannot answer
I want them to leave – they bare no resemblance to any other I’ve
ever seen – another will be here – and another
much like the words that come –  that are often given
to me while I sleep –

Do you see the moon
and the soft haze lingering
watch with me as shapes will shift and move on-
we’ve just seen a very thing that will never be again

This one star – it too will become gone – in time
death is as real as life

I will not dress for death
Death will not dress for me

I will not smile for death
Death will not smile for me

I will not fear death
Death does not fear me

I will be death
and Death will be me
**

-M. Taggart
copyright 2017

Cheers everyone. Thanks for reading.

Should I Call Her – Short Story

Should I Call Her
Short Story
Written by -M. Taggart

‘You’ve been sitting here for an hour thinking about calling her.’

The sun wouldn’t set for another two hours. He liked sitting on the deck and doing this. Watching. Thinking. Drinking beer. What would be the same if he did call?

‘Honestly. Tell me what you’re doing with this? It’s been three days.’

‘It’s a bit like holding onto sleep when you’ve first woken up. You know you’re awake. You want to get up because you know you should be up, but you don’t get up and instead you do nothing.’ Nick said feeling he’d described it as best as he could, but also feeling like he’d left something out.

‘I think you should. There’s your phone. Pick it up. Call. You said she’s interested. How do you know again?’

‘She told me she was. She walked up to me and told me to call her. She took my phone and put her number in the contacts. Smiled and walked away.’

‘And now it’s been three days and you’ve done nothing. Why? Want to sit on this deck forever and look at the sun go down?’

A Blue Jay was screaming. It had just landed in a bush, down below the deck, and now screamed. He wished he knew if the bird was male or female. He should know the difference, thought he had, but now wasn’t sure.

‘Do you have any more of that whiskey? The Whistle Pig whiskey?’

‘I do. Not sure that I want any. It’s where it always is.’ Nick said without looking at Chad. Chad walked into the apartment and came back with two glasses, ice in a dish, and the Whistle Pig whiskey.

‘You know, Nick, you not knowing if you want this whiskey is much like you not knowing if you want to call her. There’s no point in doing nothing other than wasting time. It’s either you do, or you don’t. Once you’ve made that decision, the rest happens. And, you can’t control it.’

A second Blue Jay landed near the first Blue Jay. They both sat on branches near one another and screamed. The sun had dipped. Chad poured two whiskey drinks, added one ice cube to each, and sat down.

‘I don’t like ice in mine.’ Nick said. He let the ice float. Watched as it diluted the whiskey.

‘Nick, she might not be interested anymore. Think of that? Maybe she’s found another guy to give interesting ideas about being interested. You taking three days to call her isn’t ideal. Not in my opinion. Maybe she doesn’t want to hear from you now. Better not call.’

The Blue Jays had stopped screaming. They sat and looked at whatever it is that Blue Jays look at. The sun had dipped slightly more.

‘Maybe she isn’t. Maybe I don’t care. Maybe this deck and this view are all I need.’ Nick knew what he said wasn’t true. He felt his lie inside him.

‘That’s fine. Let’s not talk about it more. Did you see the game last night? The Celtics picked up a good one. He’s 6ft 8 with a wing span of a 7 footer. I think he’s an MVP in the making.’

‘Yea. I guess.’ Nick picked up the whiskey drink. Watched as the ice cube floated to the back of the glass as he tipped it. He sipped the diluted drink. ‘Maybe I’ll call her right now.’

‘Good. What’s her name?’ Chad asked.

‘Jenny.’

‘I’m sorry.’

‘It’s O.K.’

‘I shouldn’t have asked. I didn’t know.’

‘It’s O.K. I’m fine.’

‘I wish I had known, I wouldn’t have asked.’

The sun had dipped slightly more. Chad refilled the whiskey in his glass. ‘Do you want more?’

‘Yes.’ said Nick. ‘What do you suppose happens to the male Blue Jay if he loses her? Do you know? I thought I knew. But now I don’t remember.’

 

**

thanks for reading

ps, it’s my birthday. i’m thankful to have another with my wife. i didn’t mean to write this. it just happened.

Matt