“A Horizon of Trees” / adam j nelson

bugs was a bit of a problem in august . fucking spiders get gigantic . they born in spring . they grow really fast feeding off souls and shit all summer . one time i smacked one with the back of my hand . in the dark at nite in the tent . felt like a tennis ball hit me . got a candle goin and the fucking evil thing was hanging in the middle of the tent . looked big as a golfball . candle lite tent . and the thing is swinging back and forth . and one small candle flicker making the thing turn into a strobe lite monster . one foot from my chest . and everything is tilted in the strobes and i just woke up in the dark . reached out and touched a big hairy fucking spider . trapped in the tent with me . they wander in . even in the rare times when you got no holes in the tent . (duct tape) . they maybe come in holding onto me or on my pack . them still august days are full of spider webs in the woods . lazy waving single threads in the morning . hundreds of them in the meadow . each string molten in the sun . the big webs in the woods cross my path everyday . cruel spider in the middle . working hard all nite building a web . now here i come down the path . like bumping into a wall .  big strong late summer spider webs . the frickin’ ugly spider is like an animal . big as a mouse .


my special personal meadowwitda spiderwaves looks just exactly like tv . a television meadow with the wild flowers and the sunshine summertime heat smell . golden light and sparkle dew and chrome brite spider lines waving in the morning . beautiful and peaceful and private and warmed all through summer . and the dry sunlite smell . every critter hole and tree and every rock and flower and the view . and i lived in a tent on the edge of the meadow .


my lasting thought of the meadow is my clear vision of something coming out of the meadow . alien darkdark entity moving in strobe . a recurring dream that turned into a daytime vision . minor obsession . manifestation of anxiety . i can easily feel the monster in my head . never quite turns into a picture . just something always coming out of that meadow . sleeping bag late nite all alone . something creepy like a spider coming thru the grass .

sometimes in the still still august meadow i can imagine the awful thing in the daytime . me sitting in the beachchair . maybe a pause in the empty highway or a break in the breeze will trigger the stillness .  living outdoors on the edge of the sea i can feel the zacky moment the tide turns . the moment of most dead slack . dead slack low tide . all the tide currents run out . and everything pauses . before the whole of long island sound starts to slip into the opposite direction . dead slack low tide . and somehow it changes the air . it changes the pressure of the air . after the change of direction will come new weather for the day . often a change of weather comes with the tide . one past august at the moment of dead slack i looked up and a 30 foot tree on the edge of the campsite fell over in silent slow motion .

most of all its a night time fear about the meadow . the fear or the fantasy would occasional leak out into august sun . ominous shiver . unexpected eclipse . i look up from my book . august is lazy . august is languid . the heat is soaked into me all summer and my soul is relaxed . things happen . mostly momentary fear but over again for years .


occasional actual bad things would come out of the meadow . once a year adventurous dog walkers would come awkward chase dogs through my kingdom . d.o.t. guys . department of transportation guys . i only ever spoke to one d.o.t. guy but they were around . “everybody knows yer here” . the stress was always there . the d.o.t. guys were a presence . rare cop would come thru couple times . a priest . a priest with a cop . i stuck my head out the tent looking up at a priest and a cop standing there looking down at me . sun behind them . squinting up just like heavenly tv . i make a joke in my head . ”maybe i’m dead” . second thought serious ”they might send a priest but they don’t send a cop to take you to the good place” .

never met such a smug priest . cowardly too . cowardice must be a sin for a priest . maybe i read his fear as smugness . august heat and i musta been napping in the day in the tent . very hard to rest in the august heat and the bugs . i heard a guy outside walking around . close by but not danger close . the guy shuffled around long enough for me to follow him curious . visitors being super rare and i best know what’s the problem right away . i stood like batman on the cliffs and watched the little guy below checking his watch and using his phone . lookin both ways . shuffling and waiting   . ”can’t be good for me” i thought . one hour later the priest and the cop show up . dirty and heated from climbing the cliff . there is a gentle path that i always use but i keep quiet about that .

the cop is sixteen and the priest is wearing pink vestments . i’m shaking with adrenaline . it’s an awkward crawl to get out of the tent . when i stand up rookie boy in his police custume takes a step back . he’s scared . the priest is scared . they dint expect something big like me to pop up . child cop is fingering his gear . he wants backup but he dont wanna be a pussy . not so tuff without his buddies in the matching outfits . now he somehow lost himself alone in the woods witdis unknown scary guy . the cowardly priest in the pink outfit probly not gonna be much help . i got fifty pounds on the kid . plus i got the crazy eyes . little boy cop takes a automatic step back . they all do . i’ve seen women panicdrag their kids from my path on the sidewalk . today i like it but i dont push it . i’m smart . i’m humble . i give my standard alias . they know me . if i walk away from this i win . fuck this pig and his filthy fucking pig priest . i could murder these two easy . this is my place . we all feel it in the second it takes for me to stand up and stretch . i quick let the thoughts go . i tell my priest and cop joke . little boy police costume lets an exhale . all unspoken . its embarassing for                            police boy . any petty triumph now will come back to bite me later . soon as he gets with his buddies police boy will convince himself that it never happened anyway . and he’ll be be vindictive . we all agree to pretend that nothing happened . best for everyone .

the priest phone was nicked that morning . the priest works his voodoo at norwalk hospital . we can see the hospital a mile away across four highways . sometimes rescue choppers hover low around me . comin upwind to land at the heli pad in the parking lot . comforting patients and shit . seems one of his flock stole his phone . i instantly got a ton of thoughts about a priest with an iphone . firstfirst I gotta convince these two dickheads that i didnt steal the fucking phone . i wonder . this is bad . “pull out yer bible”  “i’ll swear on the bible” . my brain is screaming fast . i’m really smart right then . “my bible is on my iphone” “jesus christ” i throw up my hands . i look at cop boy for sympathy . what the fuck kind of priest is this ? too afraid to confront me on his own . he brings baby babylon with him . a motherfucking catholic priest goes to ceasar for justice . protection from the lowlow lowest crawlin’ out of caves .

ain’t i beloved of jesus? jesus loves the street peeps best motherfucker . my contempt for cowardly priest starts to heat . iphone? isn’t a goddamn godman ‘spose to be humble? or poor or something . defnity god don’t want his boys to be pussies . i don’t see this guy calmly steppin’ into the lion pit . this guy is the spiderweb politics type “priest” . at the moment i felt i would be forgiven if i strangle the guy .


cop boy does something smart . he sends the priest (fuck) off to look at the view . and now it’s me and him but he becomes an adult . maybe he’s a catholic school boy . town cops always seem vaguely irritated to be dealing with this petty bullshit . streetpeople petty theft bullshit . it’s small time . it’s the job but it ain’t glamorous like the cop super hero fantasy . james bond vin diesel to the beauty rescue .

Maybe the biggest lie possible is a cowardly priest . if you believe in god how are you frightened of anything at all? believer absolute . must be horrible inside that priest head . how can a sane man have no doubt? a reasonable man can’t believe absolute . somehow I was offended by the lavender vestments . some kind of hippy priest . hipster priest with an iphone . it was the fear i see on the guy that brought the contempt .

i can understand an iphone would make the whole priest business run smooth . you got the flock info rite there of everybody . names and numbers and addresses . donations . and notes about relationships and kids names and even a record of where ev’body is at on the believer scale . and all kinda shit . i have an obama phone in the tent . a complete written bible must use a ton of minutes . i bet money this priest has got a facebook page . hipster jesus posting daily inspiration and meditations and shit . zero brick and mortar bible on board of a priest seems kinda extreme to me . iphone bible is trendy . all the phony men of god get together for prayer . all kneeling down and each one holding his iphone .

seems like the cop doesn’t have much power in this situation . he has no personal knowledge of a crime or something . he’s pretty cool to let me know right away . “this guy wants to talk to you”                         police boy says . he ‘splains that the iphone tracker thing is not enough evidence for him to investigate . situation comes up apparently . copboy says very formal ”mr. priest guy has requested me to accompany him during his search for his missing iphone” . or some such insulting lawyer bullshit . he’s said it before . it’s protocol . lawyer bullshit disposed of . dickhead priest guy kinda awkward mumbles and fumfers through the story . we are all grateful when cop boy bends the rules to translate . ”tracked phone here blah blah” cop boy says ”those things don’t work too well”  he says cops consider it nothing . its not enuf evidence to investigate . but they will “accompany”    . i surmise from the translating that the cops do in fact actually investigate . tho’ by law they can’t . he just told me . told me they cant . while he was busy doing it . so its another minor moral and legal outrage of the day . even tho’ its helpful justnow . hard to be a cop .

cop boy says they wanna search . he’s young so he doesn’t try to trick me . cops often will say something casual like “mind if I look in yer bag?” . but they are already reaching for it and it seems that the words were only polite . you assume the cop can look at or in whatever they want . but sometimes the law says they gotta ask .

“mind if we come in?” as he pushin’ on the door . it’s a lie . they very good at it . even a street junky can be shook up and manipulated . copboy actually ‘splains ”we wanna look but you gotta say ok” . it seems semi human to me . but it also sounds like more lawyer bullshit . ”be careful . we have no evidence . go investigate” . the old bull sarge sent the kid cuz he knows about the cliff .                               “its bullshit . send the kid” . also tho , sometimes the cops just really dont wanna find anything . bullshit situation . bullshit duty . dealing with the street people is not desirable duty . they just don’t even wanna escalate the thing to where they gotta do something . its just all a useless pain in the ass . the real street people don’t have enuf money to get in much trouble . search for one bag? crackheads don’t leave crack lying around . that shit is gone . search for a filthy disease needle? the streetrat will be out and back in a couple days . he already ran my semi clean alias . i admit to a minor offence so it hides the major shit i’m tryna hide . the pigs use all that corny obvious good cop bad cop . it’s obvious cuz it works . so I can do the same . he knows i can’t be here and be completely clean . so i’m good . there is no questions about who i am . just a sad hassle all around . ”if i have a choice i not gonna pull my stuff outta the tent” . the priest uses some other phone to call his missing iphone with the missing complete bible . the priest dials the number and then holds the phone near the outside wall of the tent . he acts like he needs to get the signal up close to the missing phone in the tent . he walks all around the tent staring at his screen . waiting for a ring from inside the tent . for a moment i felt guilty and worried that the missing iphone had somehow magically appeared inside the tent . my murderous rage meter climbs to bible level fury . thunder bolts start to shoot around my head . priest and guilt , what a surprise . that’s when i walked into the meadow . pointless cruel stupidity from a priest .

this guy was smart to bring a cop . he must know that people don’t like him . the lies inside him have created panic level fear all the time . and the sweating . the coward priest fears that his doubts will be apparent . he’s defensive . he’s offensive . he’s an asshole . i may have thought up the outrage later . during the inquisition I stayed on the goal . be nice . get away from this mess . me and the boy cop look at the meadow while the priest looks at his screen . ”fucking priest has two phones?” i woulda be logged into the computer at the drug program during the time of the heist . ”i’m logged into a computer downtown across town at that time”   i tell babyboycop . its not even necessary . boy cop was convinced when I immediately asked for the bible to swear an oath . it means something to him . the iphone bible doesn’t win the priest any points with this choir boy . it’s distasteful that the priest has got no actual bible with him . just for tradition . a nice comforting book to hold hands with . for the comforted . grief dont want no fucking iphone bible . priest dashes out into the worldly world searching for his missing iphone but he doesn’t stop for a microsecond to grab another bible . priest storms out for gods vengeance, forgets to bring god with him . real priests always got the news from the home office . they always got a damn bible .

young cop has lost the zero interest he originally had about the stupid phone . he kinda gestures around the place . the tent . the beach chair . the clothesline . me . dopey kinda helpless dumb look . ” i don’t know what to think of this”    the campsite and the meadow and the view and the cliffs . he wants to forget it all . ” i gotta ask my sergeant about this”    ” don’t go anywhere” . but its bullshit . when junior g-man gets back down the cliff he ain’t comin up again . this episode is a wrap . fuck you pig . workhorse sergeant already knows i’m here . i don’t see them super pissed about this . i gotta be somewhere . they talk to me less than once a year . they seem annoyed about “accompaning” these lost iphone gps tracker citizens . it puts the cop in an awkward position . rare limited power position . such a new problem that they got no real good system in place yet . it’s a nuisance . everybody knows to take out the battery . it’s standard junkydom . good money in them phones and they are everywhere . i hear stories . Jiro put his phone on his pillow at the shelter . turned to grab a shirt and the phone was gone .

Donnie with the dark shades always has a new phone . always wants to borrow a charger . ”lemme see what kind of charger you got” donnie is locked up about 50 percent of the time too . i avoided donnie just the other day . reminded me i gotta stay away from the spots . who would want a loud drunken reunite with street drunks . the relationship ain’t been the same since i drunkenly beat his ass that time in the cemetary . he said some things about this chick that i happened to covet at the time . when i told him about it he tried to knee me in the balls . television maneuver . i never seen a knee to the balls work in real life . it’s a tv move . looks great on tv . very satisfying . bad guy gets a knee to his holy holies . you really need the guy to stand still . plus we were serious loaded at the time . i knocked him down   and gently smacked him around a couple times . knuckles under the eyes hurts like fuck . tweaked his nose like a cartoon . i held him down to tell him i was gonna fuck him in the ass . Donnie was maybe the one guy on the street i would drink a few with . four dollar pints of Dubra vodka bought with can money . exact change can money nickels and shit . we know just exactly what it costs . donnie was one of the can guys pushing a carriage in the morning . we’d pour the vodka into a poland spring bottle . all day we refilled that thing and having it warm in my pocket makes the nasty shit taste like gasoline . a gagging infected tooth . medical . donnie was drunk for sure all the time but good company and rarely completely incoherent . i dont drink so it’s mostly forgotten .

phones disappear . you can’t really find them . lots of cars going past on lots of cross streets . cowboy says ”you can’t find yer ass with those gps things” . so the cop and the priest go away . i did semi expect the priest to come back . or i would normal expect an actual priestpriest to apologize for getting me in the shit with the pigs . even if he was convinced i took his phone . shepherd turns the other cheek and all . i always would semi expect the cops to show up at the spot . the priest incident only momentary enflamed the actual usual vague police anxiety . somehow i missed the picture of the dejected priest in the meadow . leaving without his precious fucking iphone .


spiders are telepathic . spiders broadcast a creepy spider vibe . spiders wanna be left alone . nobody wants to be creepy but spiders dont even care if they ARE creepy as long as we leave them alone . i could feel it when I had a large spider in the place . could be odds . if you wake up to see a large spider in the tent last nite it is unlikely that you will see another one up close today . if you aint seen one in awhile you gonna see one soon . spiders are streamlined and tough little race cars . fierce and beautiful alien muscle tigers . sharks . seems strange that they should seem strange . we should love and admire spiders . for some no sense reason they are creepy . spiders dont care if we think they are ugly . they want it that way . surely spiders are beautiful to each other .

august in connecticut is offensively overgrown . aggressively fecund . warm wet woods . some gross womb . everything growing and reaching and moving and alive and everywhere all at once . heated swampy solid air . i am a water creature walking thru womb woods . i’m made out of water . the matching outside temperature and the 99% humidity make me feel like i could melt into the air . a wet cloud absorbed into the steam . i am a water planet swamp creature . it’s all too much . too much life . all so pushy . yer breathing it in . god knows what . the woods absolutely reach out for you . always touching . leaf caress . more and bigger everyday . growing the long summer . by august the touch feels like someone elses hair in the shower . and the bugs get on me no matter what . the bazillion bugs make the forest electric . buzzing and vibrating with busy living energy . the woods in august is sharply oppressive . the plants rule the world . you just can’t really stop them . i see a horizon of trees .


adam j nelson lives in his head . in the woods . in connecticut . adam has a sister called dr tami . dr tami takes care of adam . cheeseburgers and laundry and concert tickets . dr Tami tries hard to get people reading about adam (in the woods) and his stupid stories.