About 0

Night Needn’t Be

When it comes to counting blessings…

Night Needn’t Be 

By Tyler Lucas Mobley

Every time I see you I leave with more to say, 

I’m beginning to feel it could take a lifetime

to explain. I knew before you told me there was 

something different about you. Takes courage 

to mention aliens and simulation theory at a 

work orientation. What exactly do you mean by 

black and white when describing yourself? 

The braces were easy to overlook, setting your 

rubber bands down on a napkin to eat. Our 

schedules overlapped seldom enough for me to

stay engaged and not park myself at the frontdesk

whenever possible. You’d signed on for the graveyard, 

when it was time you vanished into the night. A blessing

in the form of mustache and pocket square moved 

me to the evenings. Those last fifteen minutes were 

the best, you’d still be rubbing your eyes awake as 

I wore the day’s work. Things started small out of necessity,

always a surprise to see you. I’d check in to see how

you were doing, the nights could get lonely. I had you

read my Cosmic Lottery piece trying to prove my interest

in aliens was genuine. Said to have experiences few 

others had, other dimensions find you interesting as well.   

“Really the nature of the soul and DNA, you don’t 

say?” We began to see more of each other then 

you disappeared for a week, there was word of

an ambulance. That night I was on my way out 

convinced I’d have to wait another to see you,

when you appeared across the lobby, I stopped

in my tracks as you continued in yours. Your

small delicate steps I deemed part of a careful

coffee walk trying not to spill were just your natural 

gait. I held the back office door then raised a brow 

at the four sugars you poured in, you weren’t messing 

around, they must’ve played a part. You returned 

refreshed and renewed and suggested I watch the show

Cosmic Disclosure, I started the free Gaia trial jumping 

at the chance to relate. Intergalactic warfare recalled 

through hypnosis, I had my doubts. When I told you 

I watched your smile lift us both off the ground, my

heart melted at your little jump of excitement from 

behind the front desk. I fell into your depths became

caught in your curls, summoned by the mystery of your

magic. I’d wait for you in the parking lot hearing your 

heavy sigh before your heels clicked off into the night. 

Someone left a copy of Dune at the stand, intrigued 

I stashed it in a cabinet and forgot about it. The week

of the premiere you told me it was your favorite book. 

“Hey remember that big book someone left here,” I 

asked Jaden, “do you know where it went?”  “Yeah 

it’s right here,” bending to retrieve it from where I’d

left it. Gifting it to you since you lost your copy, I made 

sure to say how I started to audio version since your

boyfriend never cracked it. The morning my feelings 

made there way to words I got the letter from human 

resources, they were forcing those of us out, our days 

were numbered. That night I wanted to show you what 

I wrote, I hadn’t anticipated fighting for your attention.

Not wanting to ask you out if front of another

co-worker, when you answered the phone I wrote my

number on a piece of paper and left it with you.

That weekend your text never came, I did the 

corn maze alone. You arrived early the following 

Monday catching me at the time clocks on

my way out. You tried texting but I gave you

the wrong number, how did I manage that? 

We exchanged and confirmed contacts, you

let me know the same fate had been made for

you, what were we to do? The weird planet in

the sky video you sent, you’d been thinking 

of me. I caught wind of a concert at the bowl,

“would you go with me?” I asked out of the blue. 

You’d have to skip work, “screw it they’re firing

us anyway.” An hour before we left you still hadn’t

received your test results. You handed a Mcdonald’s

receipt to the test site lady when she asked for your

appointment ticket. There you were walking 

toward me, it was really happening our first night 

just the two of us. Jeans and a sweatshirt as casual 

as I’d seen you. On the drive north the clouds held 

similar conditions as the video you sent where

sunlight burst through somewhere else entirely,

making our lone star appear as two.

The night was ours, deciding on the Mexican 

blanket in case the chill became too much.

I wanted to show you off to my friends, you 

wanted to stay behind. Our hands found each other’s 

under the blanket, sharing warmth under a gentle

sea fog. I said the guitar solo came on too loud you

didn’t feel so. When the headlinder came on the 

blanket came off, on our feet the stage transformed 

into spaceships ready for takeoff, a callback to our

first conversation. The night carried us away aboard

saucers dancing through a musical atmosphere, a disco

ball spun the light of all things good and present. 

You put my glasses on for one final look at the stage.  

How you held the stair rail on a cautious decent, 

knowing your clumsy tendencies, I cherished your

choice admiring what made you you. Taking every 

opportunity to pick a fuzz from your hair, wanting to

know the volume of your curls. On the drive home the

song I played for you put you to sleep. I tried another 

off the The Evil One hoping you’d understand, but you 

questioned how we are real in the night. Embraced in 

the parking structure you shy’d from my intent, but 

still texted in thanks of a goodnight. We made it to the 

corn maze, within a minute I pushed past a protruding 

stock that recoiled into your face, no way to start a date. 

I likened you to the Las Vegas shooter when you told me 

how you played GTA V, something I could’ve kept to 

myself. I pushed you off your crouch at Bank of Books

since you’d expressed a similar urge at the concert, but

thought better of it. We shared silence over lunch, my 

first question revealed my unease. Taking your mini 

Altoid I offered to replace it with one of normal size. 

After I took you under the big fig tree on Chestnut, 

you looked up to grasp it’s growth, I couldn’t take my 

eyes off you still hungry for your lips. I pulled you 

into me, if time stood still I wouldn’t have wondered 

why. You’d stop to pick up pennies like Louis Prima, 

all sunshine and ravioli. The Christmas music you 

enjoyed was your own, a filthy Frosty and jingle cock 

as season’s greetings. The story of your hip hop dance 

outbreak, the sorrow and the pity. We sat on a promenade 

planter holding each other tender watching ocean waves, 

was this a beginning or an end? In the spot of before with

my chin resting on your curls, I had to say how everything

felt right in the world. We said our goodbyes, I asked when

I’d see you again, your answer trailed off unsure of yourself. 

“Should old acquaintance be forgot?” may it all fall into place.

Let us carry on always to share the night that needn’t be,

just remember when you’re in my arms. 

P.S. Covid warden Wolf quit and went to Disneyland (trading five stars for fantasy).

Putin on a Show

Oh my favorite pair, don’t be fooled again.

Putin on a Show

By Tyler Lucas Mobley 

As heat falls on Ukraine it is easy to forget the long build up to the Russian invasion, for weeks troops amassed on the border and fighter jets streaked the skies. It would’ve been in bad taste to invade during the Olympics, the athletes have enough pressure on them. Putin waited a whole four days after the wrap of the world games to drop bombs on Ukraine; perhaps using that time to polish up his address where he laid out the thought process behind his bold action. Neo-Nazis in Ukraine was an issue raised, guess Putin and the American left have something in common after all. When Russia invades we are told its regime change, when America invades it’s to topple dictators, we’ve never had anything to do with imploding democracies. Putin’s problem is with Ukraine jumping in bed with NATO, it’s widely understood that Ukraine would’ve succumbed much sooner if not for western support, the flood of weapons and aid plays right into Putin’s hand. Ukraine was as much a democracy as it was a globalist stash house, even Biden’s son got a piece of the action. The world gets whipped up into frothin frenzy because we’re all plugged to the same source, all seeing the same images, all mobilized toward the same feelings, Facebook is even allowing death threats toward Putin, and it all appears justified. 

In the Putin Interviews by Oliver Stone, Putin reiterates how his thought process is heavily influenced by not just immediate outcomes, but by forecasting five, ten years into the future. Engaging this perspective it is easier to understand why Putin would seize Ukraine now, rather than allow the threat to come to a boil in the future, trading the short term loss for the long gain. In the meantime the world will continue to malign an entire country they don’t care to understand. Putin has too much pride in the history of his country, and is no doubt enjoying giving the finger to NATO, raising the nuclear threat as to say, “nobody try anything foolish now, I’m a madman remember.” While the threat is real, and times are tense I see nuclear readiness as part of the posture of the invasion, putting the world on notice that he meant business, and to think twice about any direct involvement. For easy as it would be to write of Putin as a 19th century dictator let us remember he waited till after the Olympics to begin dropping bombs, he may be cold and calculated, but he’s not a monster. Another boogeyman just as the CDC eased mask mandates, as a horse grows callus to its bit.   

Show Me The World

Somehow we’re all here.

Show Me The World

By Tyler Lucas Mobley

Expectation, fall into place, a falling place,

ahh how you soon learn things have

a way of going where few things go. 

Jurassic acknowledgement, life finds 

a way. Jumanji drums feet lift from earth,

bridge to all may be. 

Be found oh distance one, have your

rathers. Say you galloping sun, for I am 

the only one to wrap your cloak around

and hold me night. Trace suspension 

to n fro gages something well below,

always now, prism rhyme obeys light. 

Heavy is the point, feel the weight of

the world translated through you,

something to push against. Hold me 

down so I may fly, have the moon in

my lap looking at what always held me 

back, in the cloak of time. 

The Uncompromised Few of New Rochelle 

I met a guy from Brockton Mass. he showed me a trailer for a show called Wayne that is set in the same town. This is what it inspired in me.

The Uncompromised Few of New Rochelle 

By Tyler Lucas Mobley 

“He was supposed to be here an hour ago,” Nezbit said, turning to his friends.

“What makes you think he’s coming back?” replied Bennet. 

“Because he said he would, alright,” Nezbit returned with more force than his small body could conjure. 

The gang of teenagers at the base of the dock looked at Nez staring into the water, lost in his own reflection. 

“Poor kid, thinks he’s still better than us,” Rags muttered into a close ear. “Hey don’t sweat it Nezbit, I remember the last time my Pops said he would pick me up, now he’s doing 7 to 10 for aggravated assault.” 

The hard truth was some of his friends had envious thoughts about Rags for knowing what had happened to his father, while they were left with questions that left burning holes in them only to be forgotten with violence and drugs, but no one spoke up. Rags recognized a worry in Nezbit that he’d once had, it frightened him, he didn’t like to see it in his friend, even if it was the needy little brat Nezbit, he too deserved a father. 

Off in the distance came the rattle of a can being kicked in stride down a street.  “Ahh Christ, here come those 31st punks,” Rutherford said, alerting his crew. It was true the other neighborhoodlums had gone out looking for old troubles in familiar places. 

“Look what we have here, if it ain’t a buncha stinkin 12thers’ any of youz sisters’ get pregnant yet, I’ll be jumping all over those tax credits just you wait,” Livermore smacked. 

“Piss off Livermore, we don’t want any of your shit today,” Rutherford repiled. 

“Pardon me, did I interrupt the next thumb going up your butt?” Livermore returned.

Truth is if these kids didn’t have trouble they wouldn’t have anything at all. 

“I rectum you think you’re pretty cool huh, Livermore?” Rutherford asked. 

“Sure, not like any youz gunna tell me I’m not,” Livermore said, opening his jacket with his hands in the pockets the way a cat ruffs it’s furr. 

“Hey who all thinks Livermore has the dull side of an ill mind?” announced Raymond. 

All the hands on the dock went up in snickers. “Vote is in Liv, looks like a punch in your mug amounts to community service,” Raymond remarked. 

“I dare you to say that again,” Livermore said, toughening up. 

“Okay, what I said was Livermore has the dull side of an ill…” A brick careened off Raymond’s face before he could finish.

Fists and elbows careen off bone, the skirmish escalated into a cartoonish dust cloud of blood and bruises; it didn’t matter who started the fight, no one had anything better to do. They fought and fought until anger turned into exhaustion providing a moment of clarity as tensions settled. 

“Where did you learn that combo?” asked Rutherford, “I’ve only seen my big bro use that one on me. What was that, cross circle hook?”

Livermore stopped smacking the face of an unconscious companion to wake him, “when you’re on the receiving end it makes you want to serve it up too,” he said then loaded up for another smack which did not come, noticing a drop of blood freshly fallen on the friend’s face that hadn’t been there before, then whipped his chin with the back of his sleeve.

“That must be why you flinched a little before you threw it,” said Rutherford. “Some reverse muscle memory.” 

“Whatever, just remember how it felt when it landed, would you like a refresher?” Livermore called over his shoulder.

The unconscious boy awoke in a strained groan of alarm, “I told you I wanted lucky charms in my waffles.” 

“Ahh Christ, he’s back in junior high again, brush him with daisy and you’ll scramble his wits,” Livermore remarked. “Pinky, why you such a worthless filthy lump?” still patting his face. 

Nezbit watched from behind a stack of pallets, not wanting to sacrifice himself for the honor of peers he didn’t even like. He held no affinity for their doings, they were just the one’s around and everyone knew it was dangerous to be a loner. 

“Where’s that lil Bit?” asked Livermoore, “this day won’t be done till that lil snot has a bloody nose.” 

“Yea I heard some chirps during the royal, he’s still around,” Rutherford said, “Hey Nezzy come on out, we know you’re out there.” 

Nezbit felt his breath grow short, he wanted to disappear, teleport away to a far away place, a different scene with different problems, but nothing happened. He rattled the stack of pallets in hope the noise would be attributed to some scavenging creature that would be more entertaining to torment than he. 

“What’s the deal Nez, if you watched the fight come and get your ticket punched?” Rutherford quipped. 

“Yea what’s your Mother gunna say when you come home without any bruises? She’ll think you’ve been playing with the girls again,” Livermore teased. 

His mother had given him a talk about associating with the opposite sex, “they’ll be looking for alamoney before there’s any fruit to bear.” Nezbit stepped out from behind the stack and was met with a brick in the face. A direct hit as soon as his mug was visible made clear his position was no secret; they were toying with him. 

“That’s for being a scaredy cat,” called Rutherford, “now give Liverbutt a taste of his own medicine.” 

Picking himself off the ground, Nezbit felt as though he were walking into the middle of the Coliseum, eyes anticipating his demise. 

“Step two Nezzy, I ain’t got all day,” Livermore remarked, then turning to Rutherford, “Don’t think Imma let that slide, as soon as I’m through with lil Bit here, you got more coming,” he said shaking a fist. Rutherford waited till Livermore turned away then stuck his tongue out at him which let in a taste of blood to his mouth. 

Nezbit and Livermore squared up and prepared for battle. Nezbit could hardly breathe, nerves constricted his throat, choking what little confidence he had to come away from this alive. Livermore threw a faint teasing his out matched opponent, followed by more till one punch got close enough that forced a reaction from Nezbit who returned an instinctual kick landing in Livermore’s shin. 

“Ahhhhh, what kinda shit was that,” Livermore cried, holding his leg in both hands.  

Nezbit realized this was his one shot and landed a fist right between the eyes of Livermore, drawing his hands back up to his face, Nezbit swung again to the gut, doubling him over to the ground. Nezbit turned to Rutherford with a look of relief, who shook his head in return, “you’re gunna wish you hadn’t done that.” Before the excitement could fall from Nezbit’s face his legs were swept out from under him and fell on his back, knocking the wind from him. Livermore jumped up and began dragging a weezing Nezbit by a foot toward the waterline, feeling the asphalt turn to cold mud beneath him. Livermore, embarrassed, cursed through a clenched jaw, “think you can pull that shit with me huh?” he said looking back at the Nezbit then continued with unarticulate gripes. 

“Send ‘em down the river like the baby Jesus!” called a lowly goon from the crowd. 

Livermore drew up, and both he and Nezbit looked back in the direction of the call with confused concern. “Can it Denunzio no one asked you,” Livermore shouted back. Nezbit added a “yeah,” to second to the motion, then received a firm kick to his ribs, “shut it, you’re in no place to be making requests lil Bit,” Livermore said leaning over Nezbit. Livermore reached down and picked up Nezbit his belt and jacket collar and tossed him in the shallow muck. Nezbit landed with a viscous splash, Livermore kneeled over him and repeatedly thrusting Nezbit’s face into the sludge. 

“Yeah, give it to him Liv,” came one bloodthirsty cry. 

“Get ’em with that big stick,” said another. 

Livermore looked up from the stream of bubbles coming from Nezzy’s half submerged head to consider the possibilities a stick would provide, perhaps making a flag pole which he could mount Nezbit on with his feet dangling over the water, liking the idea he surveyed for the potential weapon. However, what caught his eye was no stick, Livermore rose slowly and approached the dark mass caught in some reeds a couple meters away. Nezbit pushed himself up through the mess cold and coughing, Livermore still in reach kicked him back down once more without taking his eyes off the mysterious object. “Hey fellas, that’s no stick, it’s a corpse!” Livermore cried with surprise. 

Nezbit cleared his faculties once more, sensing the attention lift from him; he looked to Livermore standing motionless in the mud a few feet away. 

“No way, my first dead body, let me see,” said Denunzio running toward the dock. 

Rutherford grabbed Denunzio by the collar and pulled him back, “you go touchin it and they’ll pin the loss on you Dunzo.” 

Denunzio looked back with salivating dog eyes, collecting himself before calling out to Livermore, “check it’s pockets.” 

Livermore did spot a lump near the tush and carefully bent to retrieve it with practiced efficacy. He opened it and after a quick look, “no cash,” Livermore lied, “for one Mr. Franklin Barthalmule Nunenbaum, hey Nezzy isn’t that your name?” 

“Ahh Christ did he just say Nunenbaum?” Rutherford said, taking off toward the dock. 

“Nezbit Nunenbaum that’s you ain’t it?” Livermore asked without remorse. 

Nezbit understood the question, but his mind wouldn’t allow the conclusion to surface, the silt in the water settled around his feet. Rutherford wrapped an arm around Nezbit, turning him away, “go home, you were never here.” Nezbit left with squishy steps, he didn’t dare look back. 

“Well he did say his dad would be here to pick him up,” Raymound said. 

A well measured complement directed at any of them had the potential to induce adequate reflection, squelching the hunger of sorrow. Their hearts lumps of coal forever whittled down, feeding the propulsive fire on the locomotive-sized pain of their lives. Insurmountable momentum down circle tracks they’d do anything to derail.  

THE END

Eternal Resolve

The pleasant pairing of space & time. Originally titled Passion Patrol.

Eternal Resolve

By Tyler Lucas Mobley 

Pleasure running out my toes 

greed blown from thy nose 

sung in manor of mountain temple 

obscuring boundaries when able

to coax frequency with command 

returns oneself to cradling hand 

of a world all for you. 

seeing with infinity

originally titled, loose lids of wondrous visions. glimpsed 1-16-22

rewritten today.

seeing with infinity

By Tyler Lucas Mobley

At once at once 

follows an order 

beckoned to redeem 

forgone reason in

light of Spring as

never before season,

delighted upon the chance 

to integrate of a different

harmony altogether. 

If It’s Time We Must Bear

George Harrison’s Living in the Material World… comes to his son in a dream.

If It’s Time We Must Bear

By Tyler Lucas Mobley

Untool mind to spare time those steps 

never taken. Relishing difference the 

song of new eyes, a respectable space 

comfortable, not overdone. An orbital 

perspective feels the pull of a world

willing you back to cuddle up and listen.

All was a trap beyond our hitherto existence, a

collection of shapes behaving as one striding being 

with the sum of human efforts playing out in precisional 

tattoos, till accusations arise about an unacknowledged

separateness between two arms on one body driving 

the operator mad with itchy skin, deciding best march 

for Andromeda, agonizing surrender.

Arriving before we’re ready if it’s time we must bear, 

recline to find it’s not there, hatching then a chick of

eternal incubation, cute, fluffy, and unchanged. 

Surprised to notice those baby steps were always

at your feet, a breadcrumb trail for mice of men. 

Stand Up Steve

In baseball it’s called your summer family, in surfing it’s your winter family, when the ocean awakens sleeping giants. This was early in November.

Stand Up Steve  

By Tyler Lucas Mobley

Paddles up mirroring messiah,

been awhile since we caught up,

as an aging surfer, he’s apprenticing 

under a wave guru up north, one of 

the salty till senile types. “My pop up

is good for a few waves, then I’m just

blowing it. I’ll do anything to stay on a 

shortboard, motioning his paddle at the

monstrosity of buoyancy under foot.

Being able to set that line and go, with 

this, making moch jump as though he

had cinder block feet. A crystalizing

thought, “less resistance, all response.” 

Announced in the manner of mention, 

they let the words hang for a moment

grappling with how minutia of honest

pursuits mirror life at their core. Being

in the world, a deepening of self.  

Our Own Devices

An afternoon of adventure.

Our Own Devices 

By Tyler Lucas Mobley 

Dip into nothing

skipping town, 

Hawaiian slice 

pineapple underground. 

Arms no longer arms, 

but propellers motoring 

into any desired ripple

for a more simple eternity. 

Ocean collaboration

with visual dilation, no

hermit left unshelled from 

an encompassing meld.

Every stone turned from

Bikini Bottom. 

Wooing day satisfies night, 

their love a sight for our eyes.

A light reminder for the striving, 

be back tomorrow for the same 

lesson said the golden teacher.  

Forever Sweet Caroline

 words of gratitude

Forever Sweet Caroline

By Tyler Lucas Mobley 

Don’t be surprised when the lady on the bench says into her phone,

“What do you mean my jet can’t land?” then tells her assistant next

to her to look up the flight authorization number, “no I’m here see

that’s unacceptable,” and she’ll go on bulldozing then garner 

sympathy from people with name tags knowing full well no one 

can relate to her problems. 

Fighting off expectations of a pocket full of money, happening

with such regularity in the occupied role, reality becomes another

check out. Glazed reproductions of the same interaction with

different faces, these trenches are hard to climb.

A bass line everyone knows, hands reach for other hands or

pull up a dress for a dance floor dash because they understand

it won’t play again. Inclined to soften the eyes to the memories 

being made before them. Mental barrier to how this band’s cover 

doesn’t hold up to the week before, when there’s cake, eat. 

Because once you may be asked, “Can you take us back to 

our rooms, we forgot our hats?” when they return in bucket hats 

with Turkish House Mafia stitched in you’ll find out the groom

is a DJ and witness years of ridicule for his questionable taste come

full circle in a heartfelt gesture. “To the afterparty?” 

Discovering the woman to whom the lyric is directed, who for

decades the collective voices have congregated, will need your help 

and you’ll come running to her door to find a Kennedy out in the 

cold prone to the same faults. Exchanging smiles and a set of keys, 

never a more endearing normal than from forever Sweet Caroline.