I Am Santo

Fiction, poetry, music and mindscape pictures by creative artist Jason Santo

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It died on the vine, murdered by its own thorns of inattentiveness and misunderstandings, frustrations borne of immeasurable hope turned rancid by routine. Such common failures. The rot seeped as Autumn’s chill, leeching life from each, beauty stultified and care suffocated, delirium spreading. Those caustic words uttered in scowling torment and then the retreat and sought finger knots, loosened permanently by hands atrophied into talons; how they cut, ripping at the precious viscera of union and spilling fetid love, the gored worship of shared dreams. Loss was in season and looking away only hastened the killing stroke. Before noticing the fall would disembowel, the petals of forever embrace shed and satisfaction wilted, commitments abandoned. We deadheaded admirably, guillotined hearts stunned so quickly into stillness that the echo of their beating can still be felt in memory. Bruises fade, but never stop hurting; purple and navy blooms surviving endless Winters. It’s amazing, the dexterous resilience of misery. Seeded in promise, it blossoms within bliss, a cancer devouring every cell of affection until all that’s left is the jail of memory. Life sentence passed, death surrounds and these thorns must dull. Look how sharp they’ve become

XXXXXXXXXXDrone film trailer

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They built cities on the sea. They dared the forces of nature to rest. It was foolhardy, but they laid bricks with confidence, bolted steel with hubris and didn’t care how the ache of tomorrow might hobble their endeavor. It was a lot like us, that boldness, that arrogance. Everywhere there were facts and figures supporting the failure of union, yet regardless these fingers brandished rings and our uttered promises fluttered over sea spray like lost butterflies mistaking waves for tall grass. We were not alone in that seaside town and a sideways glance at store windows through which helpless owners stared, worried, told us alone was near, that struggle was all around us. Yet like them we kept fever in our hearts when bigger things tugged. Nothing stops saltwater from eating away at the edges of progress, because there is no greater insistence than Nature’s. She chews through wood, concrete, metal, chemistry, intentions, and love. She has no mercy for your belief. And in time we all fall quietly back into the sea, immunity an illusion, the tall faiths we held in our hands and hearts just a little extra salt sprinkled into unfathomable depths. Yesterday was strength. Today is weakness. Tomorrow is insignificance. And we go with the tides, soft yearning crystalized and drawn away in the flood, arms bigger than any we could ever imagine encircling us, tearing us down, letting us go.

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No. Not here and not ever will those hands shake as they are, as if Hell breathed an updraft and the coward heart bloomed with rage and fire, shrieking limbs and tearing the mind into everywhere but home, where the beggar unfurls truth and fantasy, hope and ecstasy and the blessed receive baptism under a sky adorned with love, that limitless openness that stretches so far out, beyond, like starlight lost somewhere in an unseen past, still not arrived but coming, silently careening through the vacuum and demanding eyes wait for it’s everlasting shine. Waiting for such beauty in the storm of wretched cataclysm that those garish hurts purvey, those polished blades so cleanly cleaving the thumping, blind care trapped in the hollow cage of ribs and sinew, it’s all chaos and sick whimsy; the sideways fuck of murdered willingness seen with large, beautiful eyes unable to focus, to fix. Each burning thought, a sin against promise, a parade of arrogant, inestimable danger that chews through reason like wildfire does the arid tinder of tomorrow, dried under the crawling chill of autumn. Parched, the soil cracks, crumbed, and the longing by stem and petal for Heaven is choked by the noise and fear of that blood-bone freeze winter thrusting like torment at what should be and can’t. It doesn’t matter. Shook, broken, wordless, refuse strewn over dead ground by wind so whipped by fury that the magnificence of day fails against that lost star somewhere abandoned by an eye that couldn’t believe any longer. Will surrendered, disdain erupts, clouds every corner of dreaming, then falls like ash, death snow blanketing once fertile ground where fleetingly the rose of ardor astounded the sleeping into waking. Haunted now, fragile footprints mark their path away from here, a single gust strong enough to prove that faith never lived here at all.


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(at Nevermore)

The memories of them together feel like the brush strokes of an Impressionist’s art; dapples of color and emotion that pull to pieces when you look too close. Step away and memories sharpen from subconscious canvas, dreamlike views into a life that could gave been, that isn’t. The late night obedience to feed, the rocking chair singing to calm, the frantic dancing to urge sleep, the bathroom floor crying to purge, all those fresh brush strokes lose their color over time, each month hardening the craquelure, covering or chipping at yesterday with crowding new bliss. And that’s fine as those days were no masterpiece, helpless flailing at the walls and hours of losing hold on logic, consideration, slumber on beds and couches of worry, separation, division, rage and haphazard words flung into the still air of shaded rooms, carrying the scent of inebriated reason and sharpening like knives before impact, drawing blood, covering the whole picture in crimson hopes spilled as the palette grew tainted, the copper of anger flooding bright, easy years, like sunlight flitting through late autumn trees. They loved. They still love. Their grand art split into two wide new worlds resting on easels still coated with the drops of their nurture of each other, of you, but now the grand work of tomorrow inspiring each stroke, each line and contour. They remember as if it were a photograph, though. And forgiveness isn’t looking closer or stepping away, but the closing of wet eyes that see too well what was, what had to be forgotten.

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The skull crack violence of an August sky allowed warning, and yet still it trapped. Were they not aware of the overhead boil of the atmosphere, they couldn’t have been less prepared. But they knew. They stepped into the storm together, fingers laced and knuckles white, and stood at the edge of tomorrow as if it were a cliff overhanging the crash of an agitated sea. And he knew to jump would be uncertain flailing, but he believed he could fly. And she knew that to leap would be discovery, but she wanted to seize faith. The rain took up all around them then, the howl of Summer’s lust catching them before they could make any decisions and still they hung on to each other. Spun, tossed, unmoored from familiarity, they hurled into the rot of serenity, hands locking as their limbs bent and broke, and they screamed from the sweet pain of comfort being ripped from them. They were blessed, moved closer together, stared into the eyes of God and found themselves staring back. The gales shuddered into breezes kissed by sea spray, and the salt of the air cushioned their descent. They landed softly among the bones of old hopes, spines of volumes written in deference to old dreams, and they breathed together, into each other. Today had ended, becoming yesterday, the pain of now yielding to less harrowing tomorrows. They drew strength in embrace, but untangled, pulling their broken faith from the fresh memory of their fall so they might climb, grip and be swept up again, tiny paper hearts willingly tattered in the maelstrom of desire.


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