Poem

I opened the door to our spare bedroom,
stood motionless, and began to close the door.
Oddly enough, I knew I was supposed to open
the door and walk to the far side of the room.
For what reason, I hadn’t a clue. But, I knew
I was needing to do this. So I did.
Absolutely nothing happened.
I left the room.
It wasn’t long ago that I had one room,
with four walls, and a sliding glass door leading to a deck
overlooking a mountain ridge in Western, MA.
Those four walls and I never got along very well.
I remember the view in Western, MA, like I’ll always
remember walking to the far side of the spare bedroom.
For some reason I was meant to do that.
I believe I’ll realize why
when my mind decides to let me.

-M. Taggart

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

The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot – A Movie. Release Date 2/8/19.

How can I write an article on a movie I haven’t seen?

Easy.

It’s like this for me. Sometimes something will happen and instantly you realize life changed. How large or small the change isn’t the point. It’s the knowing of the change that is. And that’s what happened to me when I watched the trailer. My life changed.

I didn’t just enjoy the trailer. I was blown away. I was so blown away that I immediately contacted home-town friends asking if they might be able to connect me with the Director, Robert Krzykowski, aka -Bob. K. His creative genius slapped my face. I literally wanted to flip a table and run through a wall.

Bob, was gracious enough to communicate with me and provide an in depth piece of information concerning the thought process on a portion of the film.

 

Bob’s exceptional ability to utilize out of the box thinking has captured my imagination in a way that hasn’t happened since the first time that I read Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. 

Much of this movie was filmed in the town that I graduated high school from. One specific spot in the trailer was shot from the vantage point where I taught my younger brother how to shoot a rifle. In this shot you will see a towering bridge that has been destroyed. I asked Bob a direct question about that.

MATT: When you filmed the Gill to Erving Bridge, what were your thoughts?
BOB K: As a young man, Calvin Barr-played in two timelines by Sam Elliott (1987) and Aidan Turner (1940’s)-tracked Hitler across Europe until he caught up with the dictator and assassinated him in a manor that was occupied by Nazi high command. It is later explained that our history was not altered by this killing, but I won’t spoil how that works here.
In the film, the French King Bridge (among many Western MA locations) is briefly featured when Barr needs a peasant ferryman to escort him across a river because the Nazis were destroying bridges for tactical advantage in the war. In this shot, the French King Bridge is visibly destroyed with dangling train cars and twisted wreckage in the river with the help of a VFX matte painting by Mark Sullivan-who did key visual effects for the original ‘Robocop’, ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’, and ‘Apocalypto’. As a lifelong resident, I’ve always felt that bridge had a dramatic quality to it, and wanted to feature it as a fantastic element in the WWII section of the film. I look forward to seeing it back to normal again the next time I go fishing with Jon Hall. Correction. I’ll get some nibbles, and Jon will catch all the fish…
-Bob K.

I enjoy giving credit where credit is due. I don’t know Bob personally, but he was good enough to gift me a direct statement. Here’s a specific reason why I believe Bob is a genius at his craft.

In the trailer you will see a fight scene. Keep in mind, I know Turners Fall very well. I know the region. It lives within me. And within all of its people. There is a toughness and grit to the people of the region that I believe is unique. Back to the scene- A man is being robbed. He gives his wallet. But as soon as a memory is destroyed, one he’ll no longer be able to feel in a tangible way, he was forced to again be what he no longer wished to be. Much like in the movie, Unforgiven. Sam Elliot performed this scene so well that I felt I knew him because I have been that man. And I don’t mean I felt I knew Sam. I mean I knew the man holding back knowing what he can do and knowing he cannot. And Bob captured this sentiment on a level that is abnormal and outstanding.

I am not saying, or assuming, this fight scene has anything to do with Turners Falls. However, the pride that it will bring, we will happily feel. I love Turners Falls and Gill. Even though I am no longer living there, I will always be a Gill-Billy.

The town thrived with excitement when the filming was taking place. Finally, someone took notice of it’s beauty. Thank you, Bob. What you’ve done is one hell of an accomplishment. I can only imagine the amount of determination you leveraged to make this come to fruition.

I purposefully watched the trailer only one time. I’m about to watch it again. And when I watch the movie, I hope there’s a table and wall.

-Matt

ps, Years ago my older brother and I were kayaking on the Connecticut River in New Hampshire. Chris caught a large mouth bass. I watched. A boat hummed along, passed us, and came back. “Matt? Is that you?” Jon asked. Jon is a beast of a man who seems to enjoy water and likes to fish. I wonder if he’s in the movie. I’m not sure.

The Oak Leaf – A Short Story

The Oak Leaf
A Short Story – Fiction
Written by -M. Taggart

The Oak Leaf

The wind rushing through campus was strongest near the library. A pure wind tunnel powered by an unseen bottleneck. The October air was just turning crisp and the sun was out making the leaves look brilliant and full of life just before dropping for the winter season.

The UMASS campus was packed with energy as students walked to and from classes ranging from one end of campus to the other. Some students took buses, if the timing worked. Others chose to walk even if it made them a few minutes late. Besides an ugly look from a professor, what would it really matter. Nick wanted to write. He wanted to not go to class at all, but instead to drive through Sunderland and park under Mount Sugarloaf in South Deerfield, and walk up the steep trail with the views overlooking the Connecticut River, the Sunderland church steeple, and the UMASS campus. He wanted to write about students walking to class near the wind tunnel while sitting hundreds of feet above it all. He wanted to remember what the wind felt like on his face and do the best he could to write it as if he were still there with everyone.

Nick turned and started walking to his car. Class will be there in two more days, like it always is. Maybe then he’ll want to sit and listen and learn and not want to sit on the mountain and write. Hemingway was in his hand. The Sun Also Rises. He’d read it in High School and again after on his own. And now again in his literature course. He felt as though he not only knew the book well, but that he was somehow attached to the writing. It lived somewhere in him now and he liked knowing that to be true even if he couldn’t explain it. Nick walked quickly, nervous he might lose the feeling to write before he was able to. Then again, he thought, even if he did lose the feeling to write he’d need only to read a few pages of the book and it would come flooding back. It was always that way when he read Hemingway. As though Hemingway’s sentence structure soothed him into a different state of mind where everything flows properly when thinking about even a simple thing. Such as a leaf falling from an oak and taken by the wind to a place it had never been until it finally lands.

“Nick! Hey, you’re going the wrong way.”

Nick lost all train of thought. Her smile took everything.

“It’s this way to class and I want you to sit next to me. And if you go that way, you can’t sit next to me.”

Nick sat next to Emma in an auditorium filled with four-hundred students. Their professor was shifting papers getting ready to start the lecture centered on The Sun Also Rises. 

Some fifty feet above the grassy landing on top of Mount Sugarloaf waited a leaf on the branch of an oak tree. The leaf was securely fastened and not yet ready to drop. Soon though, it would be. Soon the tree would need resources to be used differently within its shell of life and the leaf would become more brittle, and less full of vibrant colors, yet ready to experience somewhere it had never been.

*****

The End.

Unless someone wants more. In that case it’ll be not the end.

 

Please, check out some of my published work:
https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/my-book/

And feel free to contact me:
https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/contact/

Cheers!

photo (75)

 

 

 

My Life

The rain was pounding down while I was driving back to Western, MA.
Easily a place to be considered as a non-destination within the construct
of my current mindset. I’d rather not drive in the pouring rain; to a town
I dislike to visit, to then park on the street, within feet of the very courthouse
that put me in jail twenty years ago. I’m a realist however. I was in a fist fight.
I won. He lost. He got what he deserved. I got what I deserved. End of story.

It’s simple really. I applied for an electricians helper license in the state of Maine.
One of the online questions was this, “Have you ever been convicted of anything
in any court of law.” I have. I was, and I wasn’t about to lie. Lying is the weakness
laying in the corners of every mind and only the simplest of people lean in that direction
on purpose or very often as to prove to themselves that only fake can control their outcome.

I answered, “Yes.”

Next page please. However, instead of a new set of questions,
I read a pop-up informing me that the state of Maine Electricians Board will need documentation from the court concerning the conviction. along with a letter written by
me explaining the circumstances. Oh, how I enjoyed the writing of that letter! I may have mentioned that the judge who sentenced me can be found on YouTube slapping a police officer while intoxicated in the town of Northampton, MA, and has since been removed of duty. Funny how things like that happen. Funny too, that as part of my sentence handed down by this incredible being of life, was that I was to NEVER step foot in the premises of said ‘Burger King’ again. And, funny too, that I decided to drive to this fine establishment after having visited the courthouse, documents in hand, to find that this particular Burger King has failed. The windows are boarded up and the Burger King sign is dismantled/falling down. The building is in decay. Apparently I won this one, too.

I’ve never been ashamed of my jail sentence. I believe my time there was important, and is as important to me as having put myself through college and graduating with a BA from the Isenberg School of Management, UMASS, Amherst.

My helpers license is in my wallet. Let’s see what else I can do.

A little something

I’m from mud. Happily I tell this to anyone who asks. There was a deep raving across from our house. At the bottom of the ravine was a brook. In Spring Time the brook rushed with the melting of the snow. Mud was everywhere and I loved it. The sun rose higher each day and I stayed outside with it as long as I could.

This past Friday I drove back home. I saw my old ravine. I saw faces that held strongly to their belief that only they know what they know and the same bitterness hung about their hue. I don’t miss that. Not one bit. But, I do miss the landscape. I pulled over, a short mile away from my old ravine, and took a picture of a Bull. I walked through the wet grass and draped my arms over the fence to eliminate it from the photo. The Bull stood and huffed at me. I was lucky to have such a view at an early age. And, I knew it.

IMG_4748

 

 

A Pub Walk – New England Pubs

I enjoy pubs. I enjoy reading. I combined them and learned I am addicted to reading while at pubs. Listening to the drone of public speak, mixed with arguments or laughter, I’ve found a gem of solitude and happiness. I have even met great friends.

In New England we have a number of hidden pubs. When asked how to get to one of these gems, some might answer, ‘You can’t get there from here.’

First, The Book Mill. Seated on the bank of a river in Montague, MA. Before this converted mill housed a pub (The Lady Killigrew Cafe), my brother and I would walk this river and watch our father fish for trout. Get there early and grab a seat overlooking the river. Outside seating overlooking moving water stirs imagination. Go here. They have good beer and oddly enough good rice. There’s even a bookstore next door.

Outside Brew

bookmill1

 

Next up- The BridgeSide Grill, Sunderland, MA. Ah, Yes! I cannot write this without mentioning some good friends. I would embarrassingly stay at this cozy family friendly hide-away until closing time. At times I would help them vacuum. These were my bachelor days and the owner and staff were incredibly kind to me. They never kicked me out while I read and drank their beer and held up a seat for hours. In fact, I miss doing that to them. I lived close by. I walked there. And I would walk home. The BridgeSide Grille has a nook style bar and outside patio. I once was able to talk the owner’s son into selling a piece of art work he’d created. His painting was once hung on the wall of the bar. I really should give that back. When visiting BridgeSide be sure to also drive to the top of Mount Sugarloaf. BridgeSide Grille is located just on the over side of the bridge.

B Side Bridge

 

And moving on- Rhode Island has many pubs. One of which is The Twisted Vine in Westerly, RI.. Along with a great name, Pat and her employees were amazing to Megan during her pregnancy. The Twisted Vine has a NYC feel with the comfort of New England. Exposed Brick, properly lighted, with wood floors and a fire place- you cannot go wrong enjoying a drink here. Especially in the winter. Seat yourself in one of the high back leather chairs near the fireplace and enjoy a cocktail named after a famous author, such as my favorite, Ernest Hemingway. Just before Christmas I once walked into The Twisted Vine to find a Christmas party ongoing. It was packed. There wasn’t one seat left at the bar. Everyone was dressed very well. I was wearing a hoodie, blue jeans, and boots. I was even wearing my beat up Boston Red Sox hat. In my right hand was a book. I turned to leave. While walking toward the door, someone grabbed my elbow and said, ‘Where do you think you’re going?’ Pat, the owner, had observed me leaving. She wasn’t about to let me feel out of place. And it worked. She placed my butt in a seat and told me to enjoy and read. And I did.

I took the picture of The Twisted Vine’s floor just after Pat had them sanded and urethaned. Pat had seen me walking down the street and waved me in to have a look.

photo (58)

porter

And instead of my sub par photography I’ll post a picture that shows how gorgeous The Twisted Vine is.

Vine.JPG

Vine O

 

And lastly, simply because I’m running out of time to write, The Haversham. Also in Westerly, RI. Within The Haversham you’ll find a large sports pub. You literally can’t get there from one side of the road. You must first fight the Rhode Island road system before being able to enjoy one of the best sports pubs in the area. And when you do, ask for Shane. That man you will not forget. He may, or may not, be slightly crazy. Which I consider to be a word of wisdom and I’m flattered when I’m given the compliment.

It’s simple- if you want to watch a Patriots game and shout at the top of your lungs while drinking beer, this is where you need to be. You will have a rowdy good time. I’ve taken too many pictures of myself cheersing a new friend while at the Haversham. I’ve read numerous books and talked at length about authors, town happenings, and even politics and religion.

H Q

And slightly crazy Shane. The beach is just down the road.

Crazy S

I use the term ‘Pub’ loosely in this article. Each establishment I’ve written about has it’s own brand. I call them ‘Pubs’ because I hold that word close to my heart. To me, it’s an expression. A compliment. When I ask a friend if they’d like to go to a Pub it is because I would like to create a memory over a pint. I would like to charge forward and dive into a conversation that might never be forgotten. I want to cheers to them and to the moment and take a long pull just as Hemingway may have done.  And remember- Don’t ask permission to live your life. Live and be well doing it.

Thanks for reading. If interested in reading more you’ll find information on my self published short story via the link below.

https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/my-book/

Cheers.

 

A Two-Hearted Christmas

A Two-Hearted Christmas
Fiction written by -M. Taggart
copyright 2016

Snow was falling lightly. It was just after sunset and already dark. Nick watched as his shoes left snowy footprints on the brick walk-way. He looked skyward at the Christmas tree they had fastened into place two days prior. They placed the tree roughly fifteen feet before the large glass door entrance of the building. The tree was dressed nicely. Numerous Christmas colors were wrapped around, and around, the near thirty-foot evergreen. There, on the top of the tree, stood a Christmas star large enough to be seen from any angle. The star was lit white. The snow fell toward the star, disappeared in its light, and again you could see the snow falling a few feet below the star.

People were rushing into the store. It was cold and not many stood to observe decorations on the tree. It was as though they had seen enough just to have been near it. They didn’t know the work it took to stand upright. Or how ropes were tightened so well that the tree couldn’t possibly fall. Even if wind rushed in during a New England blizzard and one of the many tie downs did break, the tree would still stand.

That was alright though, to have them not notice. It was a Christmas tree among hundreds in town. Created to lure the shopper into the lights of the store and welcome them to spend what they could.

Once inside the entrance one was thrust into a large, bright, room. So large that you could hardly see the end of it. Silver trays and cutlery shined vibrantly. Brilliant glass cases held exquisite items from all around the world. Attractive sales women wearing slim dresses greeted him, along with all others, with a smile. ‘There’s a shipment out back. We tried to have them put the boxes inside for you, but they wouldn’t do it. It’s on the loading dock.’

He slid his time card into place and listened to the faint, yet punishing, blow the time keeper slammed into place. He was now working. His wool jacket was hung. He’d put his dinner in the fridge. First he needed to get the boxes out of the snow, down the stairs into the stockroom, and checked in. After all boxes were accounted for properly, he’d open each with his box cutter, and unwrap every item within the box onto his work tables. He’d check for cracks and breaks of any kind. He’d also check to be sure each box contained the amount of items the packing slip claimed they held. He was getting ahead of himself again. He first needed to walk through the showroom. Then he needed to enter the code on the stockroom door and move the boxes from the dock, downstairs, to the stockroom.

In the showroom shoppers were talking with sales people while snow was still on the shoulders of their jackets. Some shoppers brushed the snow off and others left it because they did not notice the snow was there. As he walked quickly through the showroom many of the salespeople nodded hello to him without the customer realizing. He would either nod back, or do nothing. A face kept clean of emotion was the best face for him to wear.

He noticed an older man viewing him as he walked. He looked away. The man now moved toward him thinking he was a salesperson. ‘Can you give me the price of this globe? There’s no sticker.’

It was a Josh Simpson globe. They came in many sizes. The old man held the largest size in his hand. The globe was very expensive and generally were locked in a glass showcase. He knew this globe was expensive because he put the price stickers on each item in the basement stockroom, where he had been headed.

‘I’m sorry. I don’t know the price. If you asked Jamie, over there,’ he pointed to a dark haired girl with blue eyes, ‘She’d be able to help you.’

‘I didn’t ask, Jamie. I asked you.’ the old man replied.

Now both stood looking at one another. The old man wanted to know why this able young man couldn’t answer a simple question. The younger man wanted to know why he was ordered not to.

‘I’m sorry. I can’t help you.’

The old man viewed the many details inside the globe and shook his head while letting go a whistle. The world within contained mountains with cliffs and rivers that emptied into an ocean. The tree tops were green with needles. The waves were white with wind. ‘This globe holds an entire world within. I hold this globe wondering if our world is anything like the giant holding it now. And I wish badly it is not. I cannot understand how this happens.’

‘I’m sorry?’ He didn’t understand the old man.

‘Nothing. I’ll walk to Jamie and giver her the globe. I’ll not buy it.’ And with a step the old man was headed toward Jamie. Jamie wore a wide smile and her eyes curved upward.

***

The door to the loading dock was open and he could see the many boxes left for him. The boxes that were left outside on the dock were covered with snow. The temperature was much cooler on the dock and he liked it. The snow storm had increased its snowfall and the wind was picking up.

He brushed snow off the tops of the boxes only to watch more snow quickly accumulate. Looking at the dark underbelly of the snow producing cloud simplified his mood. It didn’t matter if he didn’t understand the old man’s meaning. The glass globe with the artist’s creation inside wasn’t him and it wasn’t life so it did not matter.

He lifted and carried each box to the conveyor belt, next to the stairwell, and watched them travel down toward his stockroom. His tie was wet with snow and beaten by the cardboard. He wanted to take it off, but he was told to never take his tie off. He need to look appropriate when walking through the show room.

At the bottom of the stairs was a cement hallway leading to one door. The door was the entrance to the stockroom. The conveyor belt flattened at the bottom of the stairs and there was a ten foot section where boxes came to a stop and lined themselves. He walked to the stockroom door, unlocked it with his key, and came back out with a hand-truck. The boxes were not heavy. He loaded the hand-truck above his head and quickly had them all stacked near his work tables in his stockroom.

The stockroom had a cement floor and cement walls. There were no windows. In the middle of the room were metal shelving units. There was a section for overstock, broken items, cancelled products and general tools that might be needed around the showroom. Generally each shelf was kept orderly. Unless he wasn’t there and a salesperson needed to find an item that was no longer on the showroom floor. If this were the case he’d find products left on the floor and items placed on shelves that didn’t belong.

His work tables were in front of the shelving units and a alley-way of sorts was created. He would work quickly and open each box, empty them and be done with his work as soon as possible. He clicked the switch of the small radio to on. Elvis was singing, ‘I’ll be home for Christmas.’ He turned the radio off and held his breath. Images of her sleeping on his shoulder tore through his mind. His head shook as flashes of his fingers stroking her hair came to him. He always wondered if she knew that he stroked her hair when she slept. He wanted to ask her. He couldn’t now. It was done and too late. He paced the stockroom floor thinking of her face and how it looked when she was sad. That was the face he made her wear. He didn’t want to remember this. Maybe it wasn’t too late, he wondered. Maybe he could undue everything. Maybe the old man with the globe could explain what he’d meant. He didn’t want to think of the old man either, but he was. The old man said something about wishing badly it was not. Did he mean that the world would be nothing like him and what he’d done to it? Is that how he felt now about her?

The stockroom door opened in a rush. ‘Nick, we need you out at the Christmas tree right away,’ said Bill. Bill was wearing a suit and a long wool jacket. The jacket was black. Bill was one of the two owners of the silver smith company. The store with the large showroom upstairs was their creation to sell to the locals.

‘What’s going on?’ he asked.

‘There’s oil all over the walkway outside. It goes from the base of the tree to the entrance. Eric is standing near the oil asking people to not walk in it. Find something to clean it up and get up there.’ Bill looked upset and talked as though he were pushing his words. Bill turned and rushed back out the door.

Nick walked to the back of the stockroom and grabbed a bundle of cloth rags. They weren’t perfect to soak oil, but they’d do for now. He wondered how the tree had anything to do with oil.

Holding his bundle of cloth rags he ran up the stairs and opened the door to the showroom. He made his way through the happy shoppers and then outside. The tree stood so beautifully that the men standing over the oil spill looked badly out of place. Both brother’s straddled the oil spill just feet from one another. They held their hands up and pleaded with customers to stay back and to not slip on the oil. They told anyone who’d listen that the oil would be cleaned up shortly. The long wool jacket’s looked like crow’s wings while they opened and closed their arms to ward people away from the danger.

Nick still didn’t understand how oil would come to be anywhere near the tree. But, certainly he did see a trail leading from the base of the tree all the way to the entrance of the showroom door. Both Bill and Eric seemed relieved to see him with his rags.

Nick knelt down and touched the oil. He lifted his finger and smelled the oil. A few customers had stopped to watch. Nick walked to Bill and softly said, ‘This is not oil. This is water. Someone must have watered the Christmas tree.’

Bill wore a face of pure happiness. ‘That’s great!’ Eric had listened and decided he’d been straddling the mess long enough. He left them without a word and mingled with himself while walking through the showroom, no doubt to find his office.

As Nick wiped away the spilled water he couldn’t help but chuckle. Both men were rich. Both men were educated. But neither were aware enough to bend down and touch or smell the oil. How does this happen, he thought. How can two men who seemingly have everything have so little sense.

Immediately the old man’s face leapt into his mind. He knew what to do. It wasn’t too late. He would fix this. He looked at the star on top of the Christmas tree and let the snow land and melt on his face. He’d never felt snow like this before and he’d never know Christmas until now.

The End.

If you enjoyed this please also read my self published short story found via the amazon link below. Thank you, Matt.

If you would like to contact me concerning this story, or any of my writing, please email me at matt@everythingcu.com

I Love My Country

In the heat of many passions it’s possible to forget to remember what’s good. In all times there are wars and divides splitting peoples of every country. That does not make all peoples of each country bad people. And it’s my belief that people ought not hide their love for their country, nor their flag, for fear of the bad. I’m thankful for the ground I walk on and I hope others are as well. No matter where they call home.

You don't need permission to love your country. Photo credit google images.
You don’t need permission to love your country. Photo credit google images.
December 19, 2010. Connecticut River, Sunderland MA. A man decides where to launch into the icy water. It is his birthday and he chooses to celebrate with the river.
December 19, 2010.  Connecticut River, Sunderland MA.  A man decides where to launch. It’s his birthday and he chooses to celebrate with the river.  Notice the skull in the rock.
Icy steps leading in Wilcox park. Westerly, Rhode Island.
Icy steps in Wilcox park. Westerly, Rhode Island.  Always walk on.
Hunting in Northern Maine. The area is large. You best bring proper gear.
Hunting in Northern Maine. The area is large. You best bring proper gear.
Typical New England drive after a new snow fall. Hills of Connecticut.
Typical New England drive after new snow fall. Hills of Connecticut.
A couple takes a moment to enjoy a bottle of red while tucked away near the edge of Jonathan Edwards Winery. North Stonington, CT.
A couple takes a moment to enjoy a bottle of red while tucked away near the edge  of the property at Jonathan Edwards Winery. North Stonington, CT.
The tree awaits a friend to sit at its base and read. Gill, MA. My home town.
The tree awaits a friend to sit at its base and read. Gill, MA. My home town.
Old concrete steps leading into a salt water inlet. Westerly, RI.
Old concrete steps leading into a salt water inlet. Westerly, RI.

There are only so many steps we will take. Find your country.  Enjoy it best you can.

You might also enjoy my self published short story found via the amazon link below.  Cheers.  -M. Taggart