Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Written in cahoots with a dear friend.... a little sap for your Holidays.  Published in Issue 3 of  U Magazine.


J.W. Bouwman
Corey Rowley

He stood on the pier, a boy inside a man suit, ten steps from the brink of being totally complete.

     The girl inside the boat popped her head out of the cabin, a burgeoning electrical charge having caught her attention. She put her nose to the air and listened. What she thought she'd find was a summer thunderstorm - her favorite kind of rain. What she actually found was him, standing on the dock, looking at her with a dazed expression on his face. She knew immediately he was the source of the mysterious pain that had always lived inside her heart.

To achieve maturity and the right color
A soul will need to travel at least
The distance of the eye to the heart, in slivers
Taking with it the day’s accomplishments
Sliding on broken dreams, stockpiling personal madness

     When he was born, his mother was the only one who saw the small sliver of his soul that broke off during birth. The sliver was beautiful and filled her heart with awe, mixed with a wee bit of fear that her child should be not be complete without it. As the splinter floated by her wide eyes, it found the tiniest currents of air to stay aloft. She reached for it, focusing so hard that the din of child birth faded, the joy and pain surrounding her, suddenly not as important as recapturing this small part of her boy's soul - but she could not catch it. Being one of the most aerodynamic things in the universe, the sliver floated higher and shone in every color, all limned with silver, in the bright fluorescent rays of the birthing room lights. There it floated for eight years, needing only the slightest of air movement to keep from settling to the floor. The boy was incomplete, something he felt keenly as the years passed into adulthood. His mother apologized to him on her death bed, “I tried to get it back for you,” she said as she passed, knowing that he knew of what she spoke. He said nothing.

When arriving in its prone position
The soul accepts everything new by kneeling
Like conversing with a child on propped elbows, smiling
Judging intuitively, leaking innocence like a viscous new oil
Grasping for what is perfectly solid, synergistic

     One day a baby girl was born, and her soul was as whole and as perfect as a soul could be.  Her beauty and fullness of self coalesced with the joy of her mother and formed a moment.  A moment in which time stood still just long enough, causing the sliver of soul to drop out of the air and land in the baby girl’s eye. The intrusion of the splinter made the baby girl cry for her entire first year. Her parents were frustrated and scared of the incessant wailing, but no doctor could diagnose the problem. One day an old woman on the subway noticed the baby girl's distress. She tried to tell the mother what the problem was and how to calm the little one's pain, because after all, it hurt to hold someone else's soul, when your own was already complete. The mother dismissed the old woman as senile and cursed the wailing of the child. One day the sliver finally passed from the baby girl’s eye, slipping into her bloodstream and finally her heart, remaining there with only the occasional twinge. The baby girl grew into a lovely young woman, still possessing her perfect soul, having gained wisdom and strength from all the years of being the keeper of the boy-man's sliver. From time to time, the sliver made her restless and overfull, giving her an unsettled ache somewhere in the region of her heart. The urge to share herself scraped at her, for she possessed no real knowledge of what there was to be shared, or even who it was she was meant to be sharing it with.

If you try and hold it in your hands
The soul will fill your thoughts with wonderful pencil sketches
Of a life you could have if you only took heed, gracefully
A roadmap of simplicity, sprouting the divine, easing worries
Hold it too long and slip, addiction, death, loosen your grip

     Long before the sad day of the boy’s mother passing, she had sat in the garden every afternoon with tea in solitude. She whispered her secret to the wind hoping to ease the guilt she felt for not catching and restoring the boy’s soul the day he was born. One spring day, a raven caught her secret and like a silver chain took it back to his nest below the boy’s window. Every time the boy opened the window, the raven would taunt him, cackling (as all nosy ravens will, given the chance) that the boy had no soul, that his mother had stolen it at birth. The boy had believed the bird, because he'd always felt that there was something missing from his life. As he grew, a deep melancholy hung around his head and he searched for his soul, never knowing quite where to look.

When the right one plucks at that part of your soul
Meant for sharing and welds it, mixed media sculpture
Bending it to fit theirs and coveting it mightily
Time stops….rendering life as we know it useless
Creating an aurora of beauty and bliss we don’t deserve

      All of this leads us to where we began: with the girl on the boat, with the boy clothed in a man's form, staring in silent stupefaction at one another. Breaking the stillness, the girl reached down and pulled him onto her boat, smiling so hard her face hurt. When their fingers touched, both of them jerked slightly, their fingers lacing together instinctively. Her heart felt as if it would explode. She looked at him, her eyes welling with tears. Everything that the girl was, was given to him in that one instant. He gasped for air as her beauty and perfect soul created a vacuum of sorts within his own, his mind humming at the perfect frequency for what seemed like eternity. As the unity of these two souls came into being, there grew a lightness so overwhelming, it made anyone within a mile radius of the boat reflect for a moment about all the things important to them. He looked down into her eyes and spoke for the first time, in a voice that felt like pure honey to her ears. 

What he said was, hello

What she heard was, I love you

What he meant was, I’m yours.

     Her soul trembled as the splinter in her heart slipped out through the tears in her eyes, to be kissed up by his lips from her cheek. They walked along the riverbank, hands and hearts and selves entwined. She felt peace as all her puzzle pieces fell into place, and he felt complete as his world finally slid into a place he knew was home.

The penultimate place for the soul
Is in her pocket tight, brought forth for playing
For the ultimate place could be high in the air
Gravity is no match for the aerodynamics
The question remains, does it empty again?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Cautionary Tale

Her small fingers brushed paint in bold unconscious strokes
Painting her future without knowing of love undying
Picking flowers with a man who was dad, angel, love, accident
He held her firmly on his perfect broad shoulders

Roses open on gush of lust
White carnations, death and dust
Orchids seal unhappy tombs
Women weep in too small rooms

The instant he transformed into that man endearing
One could not catch the instant the light changed
Only that there, in her chest, flutters of what could be
Collided like atoms with what was, reaching for meaning

Poppies grew to meet our toes
Lilies grown to meet God's woes
Freesias stab through rich dark soil
Shining fancies wrapped in foil

Her gnarled fingers scratched experience in bold conscious strokes
Subtle warnings of life not wasted, but not lived
The sparkle in her eye now the light of ages captured
And doled out in precious flowers once picked for him

Flowers held to her quiet chest
Stems so strong to build a nest
Leaves divert the perfect rain
Winds that mask deaths dark refrain

Realization comes late for rendering proper decisions
So life greets the day with a lesson of what could have been
Eating that day with  honey and rice helps to cover
The bitter taste of regret born of living in the shadow of natures flow

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Baby

You look into my eyes, giggle brightly
Squirming to run your own game
Pulling the reluctant kitten by the fuzzy tail
Finding that dusty cracker underneath the couch
It’s my baby
You baby
One baby
Cry baby
You don’t know that my heart ticks ragged
Beats of hopeful, fantasy futures
Strokes of genius, sparks of brilliance
I have my dreams and you are swept up
It’s my baby
You baby
Two baby
Sigh baby
Muted bravery when you can’t understand
Tired and weak, older by necessity
Eyes telling me, of all people, it will be okay
Cries for sadness so deep, I can’t overcome
It’s my baby
You baby
Three baby
High baby
Let’s hold hands for just a moment
Let’s eat the rhythm of the land
Let’s crinkle our noses in miracle and disbelief
Let’s make this beautiful time, the kind that counts
You’re my baby
You baby
Four baby
More baby

© 2010 Crowley


Her voice sparkled like the bangles on the wrists of a wanton woman
Before I kissed her, I inhaled the cocktail of her breath, beer, mint and delicious
Staring at the cleavage in longing spurts, like looking at the sun
Look too long and I will burn my eyes, but the warmth beckons, softly
Will you
Legs lingered and stretched like the water line of a forty foot sloop
Before I touched them I swallowed hard and closed my eyes, nervous
How high is too high, sliding fingers in painful millimeters, a mile to glory
Slide too high and run the risk, calling the whole thing off, angrily
Can you
The little hollow at the base of your back, a seductive basin for dipping
Tongues and fingers with tactile longing, I would take my wine there, gorgeous
The bead of sweat from under your hair, slipping cautiously into the pool
I chase it and every other drop, draughting liquid lust, greedily
Fingers sketching outlines like petals of a velvet flower that reproduces violently
Exploring things that are filled with anticipation, fluid movement, carnivorous
Slowly coaxing the bears to the dump to feed without discretion or inhibition
Grasping firmly the warm bastions of my desire, strokes of genius, hungrily
Do me

© 2010 Crowley

Monday, December 10, 2012

Trouble In Blue

A little vicious, but it was for a prompt about and odd blue door  once upon a time.

Trouble in Blue

Angry trouble, double trouble, lover’s trouble, trouble in blue
Changing locks to filter unwanted guests, eating all the grapes
Cramming porcelain knick knacks into a too big purse
Making medical diagnoses from pill bottle bathroom reading
Crashing sock drawers and gasping at the size of sex toys and reading material 

See my fate all dressed in blue
A crawling sick, making due
Fishnet stockings, sniffing glue
Fetish tricks, come fuck me shoe

Man trouble, car trouble, women’s trouble, trouble in red
The morning crashes like an unwelcome disease
Thoughts of muzzling my spouse, strapping my boss, prick
Tempered only by my desire to avoid unsolicited prison sex
The whiskey bottle shaped like Christ in despair, is salvation wet

See my fate all dressed in red
Paycheck bouncing, kids need fed
Your voice grates inside my head
By morning love, you’ll be dead

Marriage trouble, heart trouble, tax trouble, trouble in blue
Looking forward to the end of an uninteresting driftwood existence
Hoping my tack is true and bold in the next life, creative
Waiting for the ever after to unfold, tattling like a spurned sibling
To the gods of reincarnation, wailing of my pitiless lack of imagination

See my fate all dressed in blue
Casket silk like morning dew
Death bed secrets tried and true
Shit bed head, lipstick askew

Trouble, troubled, troubling……you
See my fate all dressed in blue

Monday, November 5, 2012

Blue Steel:Saving Sammy - Chapter 1


Chapter 1


      Allison had left the office for lunch in a good mood, her only planned activity was to grab an Italian ice down at the pier. The air was crisp, the shadows of the early afternoon sun giving a hint of the approaching autumn months.

      She felt confident and on top of that, she felt sexy. Not just run of the mill, ordinary sexy, but she felt red lipstick, cool sunglasses, short leather skirt sexy. Her abundant sexuality trailed her physical person in a Pied Piper sort of way, her magnificent presence catching the eye of most of the men within shouting distance and even more of the women. It was a day when men would bite their tongues and women would call her a bitch under their breath for no apparent reason, just because she was…well, she just was.

      Half way down the steep steps that lead to the boardwalk, she turned to see if the asshole handing out the concert handbills was still following her. Back on San Xavier Street, he had abruptly stopped handing out handbills, let out a hissing half whistle from between the gap in his front teeth and said “what an ass” so loud that at least fifteen women and two men turned to see if he was speaking of them. Allison knew better. Today she had the funk, she had the zing, she was queen shit and even though the handbill guy was really creepy, she felt a certain sense of satisfaction in his longing to “get him some of that”, the next in his seemingly unending supply of porno movie pick up lines that he said loud enough for Allison to hear at fifty feet.

      He was still following and now he had his little handbill buddy with him, both of them with grins on there faces, certain that if they played their cards right they were going to score.

      Allison approached the Italian Ice cart, asked for a lemon ice and dug into her pocketbook for change.

      “Let me get that,” the familiar voice said from behind her. The creepy handbill guy handed the vendor a five and said keep the change with a “money is no object” tone to his voice.

      “Thanks,” Allison said, walked farther out on to the pier and leaned backward against the pier railing, her elbows resting on the top rail, one leg resting on the middle rail, purposefully striking a supermodel sort of pose. She rather provocatively tongued her lemon ice.

      Creepy handbill guy sidled up beside her, his little buddy standing awkwardly nearby but not near enough to interfere with his mentor’s mojo.

      “So, what’s your name,” he asked pretending to be interested in the comings and goings of the crowd on the pier.

     “Who’s asking?”

      “The names Walter, but my friends call me Buck.” He wiped his hand on his pants and put it out to shake her hand. Allison pushed her sunglasses down to the tip of her nose, cocked one eye in an expression that said, “you have got to be kidding” and went back to work on her frozen treat.

      Creepy handbill guy let his hand fall to his side and in one quick but awkward motion he slipped his hand on to Allison’s ass. She didn’t even flinch. Her calmness surprised her more than it surprised him. Not today, today she was cool, she was in control, and this guy would soon find that out in grand fashion.

       Allison slid her hand down and on to her own ass covering his hand in hers. She gently rubbed his hand in a circular motion on her ass and then slowly started rubbing his hand around her hip and on to her stomach.

      “No shit man, you have a wicked six pack,”Buck said, his eyes lit up like a kid at his first amusement park visit.

      “That’s not all I have.” She continued rubbing his hand up and across her body, over her breasts and up to her face. She pulled him from her side to a facing position in front of her. She put her face near his and stared intently into his eyes unblinking, she could feel his erection poking into the flesh on her thigh. For a creepy handbill guy he was fairly well endowed.

       One by one she curled the fingers on his hand in toward his palm, like making a fist, until only his index finger was still straight. She pulled his finger to her lips and lightly touched the tip to her bottom lip and gave it a light kiss.  His body was as rigid as a biology class cadaver, he was barely breathing. He started to press his erection harder into Allison’s thigh.

      “Can you imaging what it would be like…” her voice trailed off into a low whisper. He couldn’t respond with words, just a short breathy exhalation and a slight nod of his head.

      Then in one quick, almost machine like motion, Allison took his finger, bent it back until she heard an audible snap and thrust her knee squarely into his crotch so hard she imagined that she could feel the mark that his prostate left on her knee cap. This made her smile.

      Buck let out a scream as his finger gave way, and then doubled over with a great exhalation after the knee to the crotch, the searing pain in his abdomen and his inability to draw a breath overriding the pain from his finger. He fell to the ground.

      Allison stood over him, waiting for him to catch his breath. He looked up.

      “Now listen you little asshole, if you can still imagine what it would be like… your going to have to do it with you other hand.” She started to walk away and then turned back.

     “Oh, and thanks again for the Ice.”

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Eye of the Storm

And in years past things were pat and justified
Lined out, little soldiers all in a row, shooting blanks and bowing
But now, christ sake, look in their eyes and consider running
Or at least take a pull on the flask and taste the barrel
Pulling the trigger may be the best thing you've done all day
Short of telling me that I'm beautiful

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hoping to Count

In a wash of red orange light, with an audible buzz inside my head
I saw what lay in store for the world
And that I am not connected
Before you get down or curse my findings
You need to remember that you are everything
Not the result of everything
You can’t claim connection when you are the center
Of the one thing great, beauty is not your destination

Copyright 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Beet Widow

For IG's Out of Standard Challend on Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads.
With one tractor wheel hopelessly stuck in a blow out, he unwrapped the foil from his sandwich and put his feet on the dash and ate unfettered. In the glow of the radio light, he accompanied Waylon and Willie in twangy ham and cheese tones. Twelve miles from the house, he would be here through the night, but that was alright by him. He always had his sketch pad and his flask and in this case, something he had little of these days, time. Sitting in a million dollars worth of equipment, it still boiled down to a sandwich, Waylon and Willie and a working man’s hopes and dreams, but mostly the sandwich.

She hung up her cell phone and heaved a breathy sigh as she looked out the window toward the Lindsay’s northern most beet field.  But she couldn’t see him, he was too far out. He wouldn’t be back for breakfast, maybe lunch, but probably not.  She turned the heat up to seventy eight, not because she was cold, just because she could. She made some tea and sat wrapped in his Denver Broncos blanket on the front porch and wondered how things might have been different if he would have taken that job on the dairy farm in Phoenix, a little closer to civilization. That damned great horned owl was sitting on top of light pole scanning the grounds for another easy meal, two cats had gone missing already. It was definitely survival of the fittest out here when night fell.

He drifted to off to sleep with thoughts of fly fishing Montana and what his calves would bring at the auction.

She drifted off to sleep wondering when it would be a good time to tell he was going to be a father.

Neither of them could hear the flap of the wings and the almost silent kill as the cat population on the farm suffered yet another set back.
Copyright Corey Rowley 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Lessons In Brevity

 Lesson 1: Rabbit Punch 

I punch you in the face
Everyone knows I kicked your ass
But superficial wounds heal....quickly

I punch you in the kidney
And the effect lasts much longer
Blood in the urine, hitch in your....giddyup

I punch you with my words
And you run screaming my name
The world listens and you make me....famous

Lesson 2: The Flood

In the face of the flood
Only two male poets could be found
And ushered to the ark

They pretended to write beauty
But did they know of such things
Never having given birth

The world did the best they could
In light of the circumstances
After all, stars are beautiful too

Then she was born.....

Lesson 3: Review Senryu

review drips butter
on your firm, well rounded ass
slip, slap and giggle

Lesson 4: The Wolf

I take my steaming supper on a granite shelf
The same one your grandma kept her clown collection on
I invited you to join me but you insisted that you were a vegetarian
Last week I saw you eat a chicken feathers and all, still warm
Lying only prolongs the inevitable, two kids and an old woman
Tomorrow I dine by candlelight, on your still twitching carcass
Not the way I wanted to dine together sweetheart
But your coldness makes you.... the fourth pig

© 2010 Crowley


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Traces of Trio

For the Real Toads Sunday Mini Challenge....I can handle three, maybe not well, so be easy on me.

Playing Misty

She was a precious vapor trail
Too light to love completely
But I did, evenly and without remorse


Acting on insider information
I ate whatever was left of your tortured life
And created fields of violent red poppies


In aspen the women shop in furs
And curse the tourists face
While pocketing their blood, sweat and tears

Thursday, September 20, 2012


The tell tale thud of certain and excruciating circular death
The air was sucked from the universe one missing breath after another
The smell of ozone and radiation intoxicated, clearing her mind
Mixed sharply with the taste of candied fear, poured from beautiful desperation

Ashes to ashes my father
Drink in the possibilities of fate
Loosen your grip on dear children
And do not temper justice out of emotional convention

She sat on the stoop, eyes closed and dreaming in harsh pastel colors
She devoured the emotional electricity of the city on the brink
A million children asking why, shut up and let me in quickly
Focus dear ones on the beauty of the still wired moment, conscious death

Ashes to ashes my father
Drink in the possibilities of fate
Loosen your grip on dear children
And do not waste precious energy in regret

As the invisible wave rolled on, feeding on primordial pain, quenching
She gathered the fear and locked it in momentary suspension and smiled
War is not real, not the way this universal speck has packaged it
She ate from the depth of the soul and its relationship to mother

Ashes to ashes my father
Drink in the possibilities of fate
Loosen your grip on dear children
Litter our hearts with a more precious understanding

With a whisper that thundered, she released her grasp and bowed her head
Sweet cacophony and unbridled epiphany filled the vacuous void
Pain shattered mid air and clattered to the clay in splendid shards of grace
And the pathetic ghosts of death danced lightly among her people, relieved

Ashes to ashes my father
Drink in the possibilities of fate
Loosen your grip on dear children
Let one be the voice of the many through telling eyes

Mother let the unrepentant tide of dysfunction starve completely
And hold me to your perfect breast until the morning has suckled wisdom
Brushing the hair of the fates, one hundred strokes with razor blade brushes
Allowing new growth and a look into the eyes of lucid understanding

Ashes to ashes my father…..

© 2011 Crowley

The King of Butter

I awoke with a message for my love
Carried safely on an azure pillow made of crepe
On a crimson note, two words dashed in ink

Remember me

And you might if you dream of romance and water
Giving away your daily concerns for those that capture
A life worth living and then some, drink hastily and don’t spill
For the drop that misses your lips may be the one

That lubricates

And if by morning time the birds arrange for a meeting of the minds 

Do not let them speak gravely of my soul in South America
The summer heat is no match for the fire in my heart, melting
I am the king of butter, and I will drip fiercely
Between the cracks of your toasty thoughts, spreading nicely

With purpose

So sing with all that you have and dismiss if you must
This call to my side and settle into your curse
But I will tell you once more, that this side has weight
And over spilled wine and silky paella with scallops
You may be able to find in my eyes what you have missed so long
And enjoy the richness of a touch of butter churned for you

The queen

(©2011 Corey Rowley)

Friday, September 14, 2012


For Laurie's challenge on Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads....
Terse, hearse, worse, damnable
The words flowed like hardened paste on to million dollar stationery
The words she said to me and of me rushed…blue and rusty
I gagged on my expressions, dry heaves

“Your mother says you write better when you are miserable.”
“So what’s the problem?”
“I make you miserable?”
“Apparently not, I can’t write a thing.”
“I’ll try harder.”
"I’m sure you will.”

Copyright 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Justified Schizophrenia

For Izzy's Prompt at Real Toads. I don't know that she's a rebel cuz I don't really know her, but she seems to be a strong woman who knows what she wants and what she likes.  Her writing has inspired me many times and when I saw this prompt....she was the first one that popped into my head. Hope she doesn't get all shitty and resentful about this was done with only respect and awe of her work. Out very own Shay.....

I write and I’m right on most Sundays
One face, two faces, southern drawl, all the bases
If I kiss you with my wit, you will be stunned….stone
I woke up with stronger pursuits than the day before

Ain’t no time like the present, sugar
Giggin’ frogs makes workin’ hands hungry
If lunch time comes and goes, the sweeter the dinner
Front porch calls and my work goes coal black

Gypsy rhymes and ancient times, Friday can be a challenge
One finger, two fingers, written word, thoughts linger
If I see her hitchhiking, damn, I would comb her silver hair….croon
I’m not star struck dammit, just mopping up a leaking dream

If a man wanted to make some money
Shovelin’ shit and turnin’ sweat into eggs and peppered bacon
Then he done found his callin’, picked up the tele
Back stoop calls and my work goes fire red