Survivor

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akm

akm

BY akm

I drive up the 395 like some new ageless nomad scouring the remnants of slick Silk Road IEDs, abstracting triangulations of fire, ambushing mile-high sniper squads and extraction teams, echoing the weeping refrain of the headless hordes and their broken seams…

Big talk bazaars of the soul, terminal wartime transmissions jamming frequencies with mind-blowing strings of alpha-numeric call-sign strangulations, unwinding the detritus of massive, inconsequential negotiations, forcing me to seek solace and shelter from all this slaughter and silence past, present, and forever…

So, I get some good pie and good parking and good bedroom eyes from feline females posing on aging diner stools well on up north, asking me how I am until I acknowledge–with some chagrin–that I do, in fact, see and know well, the dimple-twitch in their little hips as they walk away to get me more coffee, all of course for better tips…

I can see right through their tight jeans to their real genes and right on through to mine…

And, I know which ones carry some of my stock…

I can always tell the ones brought forth by my great and greatest grandfathers as they made their way west from the Caucasus and Anatolia–from the Armenian Highland—along the millennial trek, to the isles where they mixed with these missies’ women folk…

And, somehow, now, centuries later, these gals are up here in Lone Pine, doling out pie and playing with fire, staring into eyes that may be their own, while the world burns and souls are torn…

***

I’ve packed up and shut down, abandoning the timeless score of war and peace, the endless massacres, the ruthless butchers, the severed head clusters in Michoacán and all along the Nineveh plain…

Mannequin

Mannequin

I’ve forsaken the harbingers of doom, the parade of sirens, mermaids, sundry poster children and playmates for a world gone wrong… The compost chorus, the bane of Ulysses and so many others, drawing and drawling their victims in with sultry song, a come hither glance, and the promise of all things that never come–the killing, almost-beauties and their poison…

Now, I seek only what has always mattered, here at the end of the line, here at the end of my mind, here at the end of time–I will be, as always, the survivor sublime…

I’m driving the Californian Subcontinent right on through the main arteries, in between solid yellows and broken whites to where patches of desert meet up with the lost dreams of settlers, Balkan farmers and the Basque, wild-eyed Gold Rush toadies and the ilk of dust bowl Okies, the crush of bones and Armenian eyes, all dimmed now to the oblivion roar of the dead, empty, and confined…

I’m pounding rubber soul into hot pavement, into thousands of miles of burning sage and anger, to get the fuck away from you and to somehow find the real you not drowned out by mermaid calls and the icy sorrow of death’s thrall…

***

The smell of thousands of vanilla pines aflame over the hills, incensed and overwhelming, fill my head as I slide into the twilight haze near the Mammoth Lakes and their winding roads. I can feel the scorched earth around me and it brings tears to my eyes and a smile to my face, as I briefly revel in the memory of the cordite stench and the pure war burn, now, some 20 years gone, but never, ever done…

And, I will undo the doable again and again, and do the undone, and lock-on now onto the hardened targets of tattered justice both here and so far from these northern climes, with you still in mind, but eclipsed now by the thought of purifying waters, vast blue alpine lakes, green hills, and cobalt skies…

The tepid, meek, tainted waters of southern ports were, like you, never true, leaving me bereft and alone…

Rounding great forest redwoods and pines somewhere North of the North, where big riggers and itchy trigger fingers haul ass and haul loads down through narrowing curves while the chase and race is on….

I look into the rear view to see their headlights wane in the increasing distance of my eat-my-dust speed, but somehow Redrock and the Mojave blot out the lush forest view with Der Zor desert movies screens and the aberrant smiles of janissary steeds and their horrific deeds, trampling still migrating masses and their exiled passions…

I try to remember all that is good and all that was good, and all that will be, just out of some Survivor habit, picking through the rubble and carnage, like so many more of mine before, like so many of me now, just to find my Something True from the vicious nightmare of betrayal and lies….

But, I find nothing in you.

So, I decide to look beyond your earthly form, to the grave to which you will conform, as my justice I unfold, time traveling, time and again, to possibly find something inside your resting bones…

And, at first I am surprised, but then I am forced to realize that a snake has no bones and sirens don’t sleep, mermaids abound but not to keep, unless to die and never else weep…
And without bones, there is just slither and slide, desperately seeking a place to hide…

And, that is what I found inside your grave, as I drove north to paradise lost–just rotting flesh and the peek-a-boo life of molting skin, but nothing of the you I had loved…

The kisses of the enemy are deadly… and a traitorous heart can surely be the ruin of man.

–akm
Ara Mgrdichian is akm. He is a writer, photographer, and counselor who has worked with young people and their families, in and out of the scholastic environment, for more than 20 years. He is a Los Angeles native and matriculated at UCLA (BA) and PLNU (MA and PPS).

He was a founding member, writer, and artist for Exile, a bi-lingual, bi-cultural, literary supplement published by Asbarez, and also worked as Assistant Editor for the Asbarez English Edition both before and after Armenian independence.

Mgrdichian worked and lived in Armenia, with stints in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic from 1990 – 1993, as well as 2003 – 2004. You may see and hear more at akmi.tv and srcinfo.net, as well as akmimedia.com.

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