Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Presently Untitled by Michael Charpentier

I rode the rails for so long, I know these fleeting cedars

and the stiff conductor is only playing possum

(he's eager as I am to surf this country's scars).

twilight trail, whiskey-caboose afterimages fade

around the bend; grinning madly I wave the old

goodbye and bid the new fair welcome.

(I once mistook stagnation for permanence,

and mistook permanence for meaning.)

rocks became sand, and sand became glass.

window panes are both mirrors and portals:

I see myself rolling through the country-side,

I see the mountains were shaped by countless

little things, the trees defined steadfast against

the sky, frolicking with the breeze. They are

content with equilibrium and the fleeting words,

attached with an imaginary spool of string.

(just accept we can’t escape them;

spikes keep these tracks together)

old-time madman, idealistic lost-cause,

equestrian luddite, asinine raconteur:

their words have lost their meaning,

astute scholars of frivolous things;

afraid to see the flower in the dandelion,

afraid to see the pigment in the rust,

afraid to see the land without the map.

(it's o.k. to be afraid;

life's too short for all of us)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

January by Michael Charpentier


When she cried


Only droplets dared move

From cheek

to boulevard

to asphalt

Whisked away

To tear-jar aqueducts

We met on the avenue

Beneath peculiar skies

That showered crestfallen dew

My lenses misted


With drops of hush

Breaking muted street-light

Into hexagon blurs

Her frail figure stood shy

Draped in rags

Her lips: fragmented, pale;

A stained glass apparition

So unlike the girl I had known:

Presence robust,

Magnificent cloak of winter-white

Her whispers roar;

Exhaled breath

Caressed my body with foreigner’s fingers

Leaving gooseflesh in their wake

Static apathy

To my being,

Still, but impatient

Glazed in the drizzle

Hesitant, I motioned for her embrace

She wrapped her fragile arms around me

An old world goddess

In need of new faith

Pressed to my chest

She sobbed unfamiliar greens

Not for pity, justice but

The touch of a lost love

I forced past the tension

And pressed my lips to hers

Was that beauty or inertia

When she looked in my eye?

We met tear-to-tear

One to another

And struck balance

Between longing and lust

She wiped the condensation

From my spectacles

Through the clear prisms

I saw an elegance revived

And a cold, perfect design

Drifted from snow clouds

She returned to the sky

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Her roaring sobs
they fill the air.
Some broken skin;
a broken mind.
She cannot part,
the British Law
is on my side,
lest I strike her
baring my best
swinging a stick
a stick that's such
that in it's width
it bests my thumb

Upon herself
she calls her fate.
God first made man
Adam's birth-right
gives me the flag
and to His voice
she must obey.

Her cries are not
justified when
she clamors that:
I'm in the wrong.
Misguided wails,
why can't she see?
I've disowned them;
her tears wash out
but God can see
the truth: they are
not my children.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Work in progress - Chapter 1

I thought of us today. Sitting on a dirty, overcrowded bus heading home. My eyes had maintained constant contact with the yellow sign that reads out when stops have been requested. Not that I cared when or where the bus stopped; the terminal was the final destination no matter the route taken. The stare was so I wouldn’t have the make eye contact with the other commuters; each with their own agenda, friends, wins, losses, things that couldn’t be guessed, or much less cared about.

The sign met my gaze, and returned as much concern to me, as I to it. If the sign could think, what would be on its mind? Do you think that it’d care to have someone’s unwavering glare fixated on it? Should it not, would it afford everyone the same acceptance as it did I? Was this it: unconditional love?

Never blinked, and soon, the words were bleeding into one another. That filthy yellow was seeping into the grey ceiling. The colours visiting one another reminded me of that summer we’d spent opiate in the countryside.

Your cousin’s farm had that knoll on the edge of his property. It rose up a few metres and looked over the field, rich in un-kept grass and dandelions. A gorgeous, green expanse that rolled on for what seemed forever. It lay several acres away from the nearest farm, highway, telephone poll, or electric hum.

This was the closest to untouched beauty you and I will ever find.

The hill was our discovery. One evening while taking a walk together, just the two of us, we stumbled across the elevation. The evening was chilly and unlit, and the task of trekking that far out on Gille’s property was one of merit. You were cold and wanted to turn back. I was adamant that we came back in the daylight; you were cranky and wanted to go back to the house. We stood there exchanging arguments, losing body heat as the moments passed, until you agreed to my condition, if only so we could return to the residence and grab a sweater to manage the cool summer eve.

Can’t say I’m certain when we did return. Don’t think it was the next day, but it was in all likelihood sometime that week. It was around noon-hour, and we’d just had tea and soup. We climbed to the top of that fantastic mound and secured ourselves a spot to observe.

Ensconced, four grams deep. My arm was stretched across your back, and my hand found rest on your shoulder, as we gazed into the sky. There was no words expressed between us; we’d become one with the world. Wind flowing through the nearby trees behind us sang gentle melodies. They were songs that told of nature’s clandestine knowledge. God’s breath rushed down through the meadow, causing the grass to sway, and as it moved it caught the light from the sun, and handed it like a torch, blade to blade until it vanished into the horizon. Earth’s heart beat for us, opened itself up and bared its fruit like we were the Originals.

Sitting in that canvas as it painted itself, we’d lost all track of the time. The sun had started to hide itself behind the clouds, crying tears of orange marvel into the blue pool of felicity, fusing the colours together. I remember that sunset on the hill, bathed in violet light that danced its patterns before us, for us. I never wanted it to end.

Those most likely to be interpreted as paramnesia are my favourite thoughts of you. That was our definitive episode in tainted innocence.

April, where are you now?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Silhouette edit diary.

The previous post was, for the most part, entirely unedited. I wanted to get some feedback on a rough of it prior to making any changes. I'm now starting the process of doing it now.

If you look at the piece now, you'll see some bolded and blockquote parts, each with a corresponding date. The blockquote areas mean either a new paragraph, or a major change to a previous paragraph. The bolded parts are simply edits to single sentences or thoughts. The following will contain all of my edits, including the original rough work, and my changes. Please feel free to comment on the changes, and suggest certain areas you think I should work on.

Original: His motions were fluid and almost poetic, a complex sentence of macabre, punctuated by loud blasts.

Edit: His motions were poetic; a stanza of macabre punctuated by gunshots.


I have a particular fondness for that sentence, but I felt it was spruced up for no good reason. On top of that, by saying his motions were fluid it brings pre-meditation to mind. Not to say that he didn't come here with murder on his mind, but that he's done it before, or practiced. I didn't want that, so I made the change. There's also something wrong with "almost poetic", especially when concluded with the rest of the sentence. So the changes were made.

Original: His thoughts were in another place altogether. Places far from the concrete jungle. Happier times, happier times he shared with her. She had a beautiful smile and a way of making him laugh. Her eyes saw right through him. He could confide his most personal thoughts to her. It wasn't perfect, it never was, but his mind wouldn't accept that at the present moment.

Edit: Like a shattered mirror, his thoughts ran in shards of varying length and accuracy; each sliver of reflective glass distorting each shape and colour to a writhing conviction. Everything that he'd experienced with her, good and bad, was falling into place; he organized each thought and emotion in an order that allowed for logic to justify his motive.

Re-reading that part made me think that the paragraph lacked in... everything. The edit isn't going to stand alone, I'm going to elaborate on it, or more importantly his state of mind, a little before and after that part in the story. Right now I'm kind of using that as a stepping stone to find my place and give me something to use to remind me of how to work on it at a later point. I think the broken mirror is a perfect metaphor for distortion.


It wasn't out of the ordinary to get a hobo looking for shelter to come in, which was easy enough to handle: throw him out. This character didn't look like a hobo.

Edit: It wasn't out of the ordinary to get shelterless riff-raff bumming around for a place to keep dry. This character didn't look like the average destitute scrub.


The "easy enough to handle" bit was removed because it was weak and diluted the the though. I changed the language because whenever I see the word hobo I associate it with cute. Weird, I know, but true. It's a cartoon word. Regardless of where I hear it I can't take it seriously. Riff-raff, on the other hand, reminds me of garbage. It's a step down on the scale of attractiveness. Exactly what I wanted. Oh, and in all honesty, I've been looking for a reason to use destitute ALL DAY.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Crashes of thunder echoed, lightning streaked the sky and the city below was hit with volley after volley of rain. It was as if the gods had conspired to strike this metropolitan centre with the elements of their wrath. The outside world was hell, the inside, far from heaven, was more appealing on a night such as this.

Stretching from the ground into the heights of the sky the modern day ziggurat, symbol of mankind'’s wealth, finances and political power loomed over the city, its gray face seen from far distances. No signs of the weather outside would reach the building's interior with the exception of beating rain against the window pains.

Inside the lobby, in the corner left of the entrance sat two doorway security guards. Obese, middle aged and balding, one of them sat at a laptop computer regurgitating fragments of a discussion forum to an older, slimmer, co-worker who's disinterest in the conversation was obvious.

""...gentle flip flopping of sandals as her body curvaceously shuffled from side to side." Jesus, Frank, who the hell writes this stuff?" the fat man finished saying, then took a sip of his coffee and let out a deep, obnoxious laugh. He looked as if he wished to continue, but the lobby doors slid open, preventing him from continuing with his tangent.

The fat man closed his laptop and looked in the direction of the late night intruder. It wasn't out of the ordinary to get shelterless riff-raff bumming around for a place to keep dry. This character didn't look like the average destitute scrub. (edit: 2.7.06)

Far better dressed then the local homeless, he wore: a black coat, hood obscuring his face, and gray suit-pants, well-crafted black shoes; all of which were soaking wet. Definitely hadn't driven here, this man looked as if he had walked for hours in the storm. Drenched from head to foot, you could hear from the weight in his steps the swish of waterlogged shoes.

Moving like an apparition, he took no notice of his spectators and continued to move without hesitation, with a certain stagger of exhaustion, towards the door into the offices; all the while whispering something under his breath.

He got to the door and the older security guard spoke up, "Excuse me, sir. This building is closed. If you work here then you need to sign in and have someone escort you to your destination."

There was an uncomfortable pause. The stranger appeared to give no recognition to the duo. In a hoarse voice, barely above a whisper he said, "I left something here earlier today. I'll only be a minute."

"Well, if you have your security card and don't mind having one of us bring you up there, then I can let you in. Otherwise I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

"Yeah...I have my security card. It's in my jacket." His left hand reached into his coat and pulled something out of the inner right pocket. The object was obscured from the guards view, and the man stopped and examined it for a moment.

He turned his head towards the guards for the first time. He looked in his early thirties, five o clock shadow crept across his face; eyes visibly stained red, either from hours of crying or drug abuse or a sad combination of the two.

"I'm sorry. It appears that I left it in my other jacket." he said.

The man's left arm extended quickly pointing at the standing guard with the object that he held clenched in his hand. His motions were poetic; a stanza of macabre punctuated by gunshots. (Edit: 2.7.06) Two vessels of flesh in contrasting size fell to the floor with a sudden thud. The killer opened the door and entered the buildings inner hallways.

The wraith walked as if driven in a trance towards the stairwell continuing to whisper things to himself as he drew deep breaths.

"She's left me... never again... She never wants to see my face again. She'll see my face again. She never wants to hear my name again. She'll hear my name again. She's left me..."

Like a shattered mirror, his thoughts ran in shards of varying length and accuracy; each sliver of reflective glass distorting each shape and colour to a writhing conviction. Everything that he'd experienced with her, good and bad, was falling into place; he organized each thought and emotion in an order that allowed for logic to justify his motive. (edit: 2.7.06.)

She hurt him. He would hurt her.

Tears had filled his eyes again. The sheer emotion was what was driving him. He'd walked here, to this, her place of employment, in the rain, and then climbed flight after flight of stairs. It was enough to drain anyone, but if such a convincing force as pain was pushing behind him, he would do it again. He kept going. He wouldn't stop.

On his way up the stairs a man wearing a suit was walking down with a briefcase. The man looked at him with a look of unsure recognition on his face, and he noticed he was crying.

"Are you okay?" the man with the briefcase said, concerned.

"I'm fine." was the reply.

"Are you sure?"


The decision was made that this was no time for discussion of one's feelings. Besides, he was being nosy -- overstepping personal boundaries. The man with the briefcase collapsed where he stood and rolled down the flight of stairs onto the landing below. Like a zombie the survivor continued on his ascent of the building.

"She's left me... never again... She never wants to see my face again. She'll see my face again. She never wants to hear my name again. She'll hear my name again. She's left me..." he whispered again, this time said with more of a burning vengeance in his voice.

He pressed on for about another moment when he heard many footsteps, heavy footsteps of boots, they came from both above and below him. He heard voices and radio accompanied with the footsteps. The police. It was to be expected. By this point he'd killed three people. He was certain the police had been notified after the first gunshot.

"Freeze!" came a shout from the next landing up. "We have you surrounded! Put down your weapon and surrender peacefully!"

He paid no heed to the officers warning. He made another motion, contracted his muscles and moved his leg up another step.

"Don't move! Drop your weapon!"

He extended his arm.

"Drop your God damn weapon!" again came the shout.

He'd failed what he came here to do. He'd failed. She'd left him. There was nothing more to it. He continued to move his gun upwards towards the officers, and the cop’s shouts became more frantic.

One of them fired. He kept coming. Another fired. It didn't change anything. All of them fired. The bullets came down in a volley of searing heat and sound and ripped through his body, his organs, and his heart.

"Brayer prosecutor shot dead!

Keith Broderick, 49, prosecution lawyer carrying the case against alleged crime-lord Albert Brayer was shot and killed this morning in the Evermont business sky scraper.

The police believe that he was targeted for his involvement in the case.

Joseph Jger, 31, the lone gunman in the shooting. Jger was killed in a shoot-out with the police. He's responsible for the shootings of two security guards and Keith Broderick.

So far no evidence linking Brayer to Jger has been found, but an investigation will continue."

He'd made the front page. The news hurt her. He had succeeded.

Underneath the facade of carnage, violence, lies and brutality was the shadow of something much simpler. Something more human than what the papers will display it as, something that isn't going to enter the history books, something that the locals won't discuss around the water cooler. Beyond everything else lies the silhouette of a broken heart.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Yay writing