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Memoir

Updated on June 12, 2011
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I travel down a dark tunnel

Somewhere off in the distance a gun shot

Followed by sobbing

Light and dark flash like a movie not up to speed

Out of nowhere

A grimacing face appears staring through me

A wave of nausea swells inside

I try to lean away and feel 

A heavy weight pinning my chest


The air gets warm and the face disappears

Fields of dry hay rush past

The scent of pancakes and charred 

Blackberries drift behind, followed by

Giggling and song, the scratching of pen on paper

A phone rings twice, a familiar but archaic tone

The smell of beer and beach tickle my nose

I look up and seagulls fly below a sky of clouds


A door slams to my left 

The sun streams though an opened window on my right

My dog barks, I hear myself scream

Utter exhaustion washed over me and something else

Unconditional love

The sun is shining and the smell of sweet peas wafts 

A passage closes I turn in the gray

Looking towards the sun

Another door slides shut, I turn again seeking the light

Sweet giggling another wave of bliss

Slam, charcoal

The air has gone stale


I hear the clicking of wheels on tracks 

There is warmth to either side tucked under my arms

And a tiny sparkle in front of me, 

It is enough

There is the familiar vibration under my feet

Total darkness, but I'm warmed left and right

Doors are flung open wide in front of me

Like busting from a movie theater I am blinded

But then dropped into oblivion

Then raised up, I watch the flicker with hope

Am dropped again as the flicker is extinguished


This time deep, deep I go

Past sight, and smell, into a nothingness

The groan of gears as I begin to climb

And so it goes up into the light

Down into the darkness

Flashes of smiles sounds of laughter

Then doused in fear and drowned in anguish


Till already, the path smooths out

My vehicle rolls to a stop

The weight pops off my chest

A voice over the loudspeaker

Thank you for riding, please exit to your left

Those wishing to ride again 

Please follow the velvet cords at the bottom of the ramp

Those of you who need to recover

Please enjoy eternity in the rest of the park




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    • Randy Behavior profile image
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      Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Hi EHP! Thanks for popping by for a read. Hope you are well.

    • profile image

      ExoticHippieQueen 5 years ago

      I love when vivid imagery is packed tightly in with no space around it. Nice reading you, RB!

    • Randy Behavior profile image
      Author

      Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Thanks Marbles. Your comment makes me grin.

    • profile image

      marbles in my pocket 5 years ago

      This one has so many layers, twists, turns and scantily clad enuendos, I was almost blinded by the light, and thought I smelled apple juice dripping from cheesecloth.

      It jelled well in the end though! Awesome!

    • Randy Behavior profile image
      Author

      Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Thanks Zongrik!

      Loved your blog Patti.

      Thank you John. :)

    • Randy Behavior profile image
      Author

      Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean

      @ Claudia - I know you're not a fan of roller coasters but this is one we have to ride!

      @ Brian - I adore a good scare!

      @ Laurie - Sorry about that Laurie it's just my life :)

    • profile image

      john@bookdreamer 5 years ago

      A poem that makes full use of the senses

    • profile image

      Patti 5 years ago

      This is great. I remember all of those feelings. And now I'm heading over to the Hall of Mirrors, where I can be thin again. ;-)

      PattiKen and the Muses

      http://pattiken-pattiken.blogspot.com/

    • profile image

      zongrik 5 years ago

      clever and full of great images

    • profile image

      Laurie K. 5 years ago

      Definitley a scary ride you took me on, Randy. So vivid and real.

    • profile image

      brian miller 5 years ago

      my hands are in the air as we head over the hill...smiles...haha nice build in this, took me a bit to catch on...was thinking we were having a bit of a nightmare but a good scare on a ride never hurt any one you know...smiles....i remember a day we rode one agian and again until we were sick...

    • profile image

      Claudia Schönfeld 5 years ago

      what a ride!! life can be just like that..change so quickly...warm and comfortable...then anguish, fear, uncertainty...we should ride it with our arms raised i guess..

    • Randy Behavior profile image
      Author

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Thank you for that sweet comment. I have so much trouble referring to you as a hag... I guess I'll start calling you NH or something.

    • nighthag profile image

      K.A.E Grove 6 years ago from Australia

      wonderfully clever my dear, loved all the layers the twist at the end was simply brilliant... great work!!!

    • Randy Behavior profile image
      Author

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Yes arb absolutely! The life experience is ALWAYS in the beholder not actually in the life. And so it is with poetry. Thank you for your insightful comment.

    • profile image

      arb 6 years ago

      Hi Randy! Just returned from 2 weeks in sunny Ca. and have a lot of catching up to do. A wonderful piece. Read it 3 times. What the reader takes from poetry is his or hers and what I take is mine. Perhaps why poetry and interpretation is so deeply discussed in poetry courses. None the less, what I take was thoroughly enjoyed and obviously, my interpretation is the right one. Well done.

    • W. B. Isley profile image

      W. B. Isley 6 years ago from Monett, MO

      Thank you for expressing your LOVE in having fun with the language with us.

      I, too, enjoy having fun with it. I'm just not sure I truly understand the use of metaphor and simile. I must study your work more, for it is full to overflowing with these (and more) modes of playing with the language. In the distant past I wrote a few poems. Perhaps I ought to get them out and see if they are worthy of publishing here.

      My day is complete, I have helped a beautiful woman blush. Have fun Randy. 8o)

    • Randy Behavior profile image
      Author

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      WB, there is no oops in enterpreting poetry. When one wants to call a spade a spade he does not use poetry. He does not use poetry if he wants to be blantenly clear. He uses it to be criptic, lyrical or to have fun with the language. He being a "she" in this case, and I do so LOVE to have fun with our language.

      To say that you'd like to write like me makes me blush, but the mother in me says, "Be an even better writer, as only you can William." :)

    • W. B. Isley profile image

      W. B. Isley 6 years ago from Monett, MO

      Evening Randy,

      I did get the roller coaster metaphor. Really. I just thought that using the chest restraint of the roller coaster as another metaphor for a heart attack could be plausible. Oops.

      I can verify that for my life all of it can be used as writing material. I believe that we all could. You just put yours into such wonderful prose and poetry. I hope one day to write like you and so many others here.

      Have fun.

    • Randy Behavior profile image
      Author

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Thanks Jeff I'm glad you enjoyed this piece. Glad you came by for a read :)

    • Jeff May profile image

      Jeffrey Penn May 6 years ago from St. Louis

      Enjoyed the imagery, rhythm and your satisfying ending (which are often difficult). Excellent poetry. Thanks.

    • Randy Behavior profile image
      Author

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      attemptedhumour I'm so proud to be moved up to the ranks of rat :)

      Morning WB. A heart attach huh? That was not my intention but a very interesting interpretation. Sometimes I wonder if my life has only been writing material.

    • W. B. Isley profile image

      W. B. Isley 6 years ago from Monett, MO

      I thought that couching this whole trip of the review of ones life inside of a heart attack was brilliant. From everything that I have heard you nailed it perfectly. I also thought the allusion to reincarnation at the end was just the icing on the cake.

      You, have had one hell of a life. I have such respect for you for coming so far from your beginnings.

    • attemptedhumour profile image

      attemptedhumour 6 years ago from Australia

      That rat Will Star, he gets me every time with his cunning endings. Now that randy rat has joined the club, i'll get you back somehow though.

    • Randy Behavior profile image
      Author

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Thanks Genna, hey a compliment is a compliment. I'll take it.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      This is soooo cool!! Okay, I know that sounds corny and cliche, but it fits. Thanks for the ride...loved it!

    • Randy Behavior profile image
      Author

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      I can think of no greater compliment than to have one of my poems haunt you all day BB.

      We are a tight little group of poets here with google ads spinning around us like a tornedo, so of course we must stick together :)

    • bbnix profile image

      bbnix 6 years ago from Southern California

      I had to come back Randy. Something's been sticking in my head today about this poem and I had to figure out what, and I have to tell you, it's that this is one of my all time favorite poems - seriously!!!

      I love the countless nuances, the many senses that so richly experience memories and moments from your words. I love the darkness, the chaos, the many directions all at once. I love the drama, the pathos, the abject creativity - all incredible.

      But the most important part to me, it tells a deep and detailed story about you, my friend.

      This is a masterpiece, and it is my sincerest hope for you to not only to consider me a friend, but allow me to learn from and grow with you as a fellow writer for many years to come...

    • Randy Behavior profile image
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      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Thanks alekhouse I'm glad you enjoyed it. I find my memories always contain scents and sounds. For me, the sound of a fly batting against glass is a wonderful memory. Its to cold for flies in town so that sound means warm summers out in the hills at my favorite ranch house. That's where we had blackberry pancakes cooked on an old wood stove. The berries always burned before the pancakes were done.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 6 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Wow, I love this...so many things to see, hear, and feel. It's a great piece to read over and over...it has a wonderful ebb and flow.

    • Randy Behavior profile image
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      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Thanks ben. Yep its a bit of a carnival in here. :)

    • BenWritings profile image

      BenWritings 6 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

      How interesting. Your mind is a wonderland of strange, attractive, and deep things.

      Loved it Randy

      :]

    • Randy Behavior profile image
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      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Thanks BB, you sweet talker.

    • bbnix profile image

      bbnix 6 years ago from Southern California

      I think we all had something in our sippy cups, but we are the ones who've made it this far, so many have dropped so sad away, but I can tell you this, my friend, you're as real as this beautiful new day...

    • Randy Behavior profile image
      Author

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      A lovely comment as always TL. This one was kinda hard to write. Trying to pick images that represent your life can be overwhelming. I mean its a poem not a novel after all. You should try it; I'd love to read how yours comes out.

      Attemptedhumour I'm so glad you were surprised at the end. I looooove that feeling. Which Will is a trickster?

      Hey MA. Maybe I haven't lived at all. Maybe I'm just having a bad LSD trip. Maybe I'm still in the 60's and someone slipped something in my sippy cup.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      Etherialy psychedelic Randy.;)

    • attemptedhumour profile image

      attemptedhumour 6 years ago from Australia

      Well, didn't we all get taken for a ride there girl, it's usually Will suckering us in, but now you've started acting up. Is there no respite from our devious hub-pals? Oh well here i go again, wha harrrrrrrrrr.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I was so surprised at the ending It's a must "read again" poem, and it's certainly worth it.

      This is so lush, so evocative, so sensual... I could almost smell the sweet peas and the pancakes.

      I think this is amazing, Randy... marked up accordingly.

    • Randy Behavior profile image
      Author

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Oh BB you're to much! Love "stroboscopic ply."

      Does anybody even remember the e-tickets? They are as archaic as the ring on my teenage phone. There were never enough E's and way to many A's

    • bbnix profile image

      bbnix 6 years ago from Southern California

      I've seen that tunnel in my mind's dark eye, in stroboscopic ply. The face and sounds you so explore, unsettled you and I. The smells we all so know so well they waft and cry where's home, as lost young child we find our selves, and weep as if unknown.

      Those clicking wheels ply cold from us, but warmth we steal from plight, and as we sink yet lower still we scream with all our might, "we laugh with all our hearts at you - the darkest of our fright, for we are the strong, you see dark night, and light we call our own.

      Yet soon we find our truest selves, as normal as can be, yet ever ready for dark rides for ever-ternity...

      What do you call it when you like confusion and troubled sleep - true love...

      I'll buy that e-ticket ride in Randy's world any day!!!

    • Randy Behavior profile image
      Author

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Thanks Jane, its been a bumpy one.

      Hello Chris! Thanks for coming by for a read. Life is a sensual treat, so I write it that way. I'm glad you liked it.

    • Chriscwarner profile image

      Chriscwarner 6 years ago

      LOVE IT! Did not see the end coming...I thought for a while the narrator was floating down a stream of memory or consciousness. Your attention to small, detailed sounds and moments and aromas is INCREDIBLE! So. Much. Fun.

    • Jane Bovary profile image

      Jane Bovary 6 years ago from The Fatal Shore

      That's quite a ride. Too good Randy.

    • profile image

      Doug Turner Jr. 6 years ago

      I knew it! I'm going to report your behavior to... somebody!

    • Randy Behavior profile image
      Author

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Actually Doug my whole purpose in writing this was to confuse you and upset your sleeping patterns. So glad it was effective :P

    • profile image

      Doug Turner Jr. 6 years ago

      Okay, so the narrator is actually dead and in some form of purgatory. Doors open and memories, smells from their past life are allowed to be taken in, but the ride continues and they must wander the park for eternity, allowed only glimpses and flashes of their previous existence.

      Your writing is becoming a problem for me. I'm the type of person who will spend an entire evening at a party frazzled in the corner as I pull my hair out trying to remember who sang such-and-such song. I have to get to the bottom of things or die trying. Your poems, with their mysterious layers, really get the gears in motion.

    • Randy Behavior profile image
      Author

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Yeah, the first go was a white knuckler for me, but I'm gonna raise my hands on the next ride.

    • What Is Q profile image

      Adam 6 years ago from Tennessee

      Ok, I'm going to read it again, but this time I'll raise my arms.

    • Randy Behavior profile image
      Author

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      That'll be an e-ticket Jess. Nobody rides for free.

    • Jess Killmenow profile image

      Jess Killmenow 6 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

      Whee! I want to go again. You gotta try this thing.

    • Randy Behavior profile image
      Author

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Thanks Tony. And thank you for being such a faithful fan :)

    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Clever and enjoyable. Thanks RB