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Posts Tagged ‘home’

Iconoclast

Growing up on a lake
it was easy for us to test
the buoyancy of every school
necessity from pencils
to protractors.
Between us we didn’t know
about origami or the pacific ocean’s
end, but we did know the news
could be folded when father had left for work.
The invading tides, relentless
as the end of summer, ate through
a picture of Reagan’s face.
A perfect circle showing teeth
drawn by some lifeless hand
dripping with ink.
The assortment of erasers
were too heavy to achieve grace.
We sent out little army men after them,
a search and rescue playing dramatically
against the setting sun like Ms. Saigon.
They too would be lost
to the relentless sea.
Changing to unmanned planes
we dive bombed the serene lake
with classifieds and obituaries.
Each plane making it mere feet
before a dramatic kamikaze
surrounded by imaginary pyrotechnics.

I read my news online now.
And live on a hill.

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Home, for now.

I thought I would explore
brave new worlds,
since I was stuck at home.
I walked down Main Street.
Ate a childhood pizza
from the pizza store
I grew up in.
I drove down the streets
that I walked down.

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Deer Reactions

Tires as flat as the world
grip misanthropic back roads.
Conjured fog and fawns
get their curves caught
in the on-coming.

For every deer that stares
into the abyss
there is another that flees
into the Dantean forests
to live, with or without our guidance.

A deer has confused this path
for a river as black as the Styx.
Its ghostly eyes lost in confusion
as to the salty taste of these
brackish waters. In the headlights
of a car it sees the boatman.

The layers of fog are torn
under the apocalyptic
approach of a Volvo
already late for dreams
of his smooth curved
Swedish engineered sweetheart.

The road pushes the countless
fingers of a tire left without
a lover. It wants the warm
skin of her again, to grip like
the windy sunny roads that
carve the soft hilly landscape
of home.

The sun glazed majestic fjords
as white as alabaster
carve the rugged rocks
of his coast just by being close to him.
Those fjords too far from this road.

He drives his intimate
scenic back road that connects him
to Le Vene as tightly as running
water over every marble inch
of her skin. He melts in memories
that pull his eyelids tight
in attempt to keep each ghost
that remains.

He narrowly missed a deer
licking the pavement.
Both were reminded of how related
love and fear are to the heart
which pounds in their chests.
And perhaps about the blind
luck of lovers and deers
on their way home.

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What does she think?
I can’t say,
the way she sinks into her seat
pulling at the edge
of an admiral’s pea coat.
The way she blows
pink sugar into a balloon
after days of chewing
it like hide.
It eclipses her face
and pushes against the popped
collar of her lost admiral’s
pea coat. Instinct tells me she’s
missing. Her face in black and white
making the sides of milk cartons
more interesting. Like a lighthouse
off shores too rocky to travel by foot.
She’s gone missing to her eyes
despite every reflecting edge
we’ve come to hide behind.
Her keen eyes can see through
the awkward young girl
in the dirty sides of a skyscraper.
The wind blowing her prismatic hair,
she brings painted finger tips
to organize every tiny sailor
running from the storm.
“Man your stations men!
the storm will swallow us
unless you keep your heads!”
The captain would bark as
he dipped into the boat’s cargo
of whiskey to calm his nerves.
He wipes his courage on the wet sleeves
of his pea coat.
Her yellow fingertip rubs the ingrained
anchors typical of her coastal style.
Turning to the lonely girl adrift in an oversized
Pea coat she salutes.
“Man your station.”

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A diploma and a ticket for the train
I’m buying new guitar strings with my change.
Washing conditioned nerves with bottled water
down a throat to live off of,
the hard work unseen like farmer hands
in the rearview mirror of a corn field.
Reader’s digest and a traveler’s meal
suppressing how I’ve been taught to feel
about leaving home to find myself.
The manifest destiny ride.
If it were up to me, I would try to fly.

An atlas balanced on converse all-stars
the ceaseless nausea of bucking train cars.
The Midwestern tundra has turned to rain
leaving blue skies behind me.
There are different invisible people here.
Different hands not seen. Yellow signs
for reconstruction sites abandoned
serve as arm rests for hard hat men
with steel toes planted on the edge
of someone else’s world –
The weight of which presses on their backs.

Neck tied commuters turning into pigs
clouded by thick smoke of passing big rigs.
The highway runs parallel
and almost touchable. There is grayness
to this age. Our freedom
makes it tolerable to be in this cage.
to place our hand on the window,
it can’t push through. Several hundred miles
until I get back to you.

The yawning lonely eye of the giant overpass
cuts the tranquility of the rolling grass
and our bullet travels against odds and gods
through the pupil. Don’t blink. I almost missed
what we are going through. A serpentine
woman, afraid of touch, but more afraid of dark
has grabbed my hand. Counting digits
in her head, her breathing is hectic. It’s all
I know of her until we emerge from the
ocean to the air. A deep breath to shake
the scare. A ‘sorry’ and a ‘thank you’ are
all she can say. She slips a burned CD from her
bag. Its labeled: “just press play”. I pause to
look at the shining disc in my hand, looking back
to thank her, nobody is there.

Addictive hooks and lyrics draw me to her rock
and roll romantics. It is her voice, and it calls me to walk
after her retreat. I pull the earphones from the jack
but leave the CD to turn by itself. Home
isn’t far, I can’t give in now. Turn, turn, turn
the world, churn, churn, churn the sea. I stumble for
the notepad and fumble for the words. Outside
I miss the passing birds and sunset
migrating to forget.

A man old enough to have been from the grave and back
works on an endless newspaper stack
and chews a pen used to put words in their places
in every Sunday edition between New York
and Anchorage. He’s a man who seen so much past
that he knows the future. Keen and wise
he’ll be dead before he knows. I’ll make his funeral
if he is going where I am. We make idle chit-chat
so I can get his name, occupation, and hopefully
a destination. Reese, retired professor of literature,
and he simply rides the trains back and forth.
He’ll die in the dining car after getting all he could eat.
He said if I am searching for home I’ll never find it.
What does he know? He is old and senile.

Lonely and tired from the exchange
I’ve got you and your heartstrings on my brain.
Once I had thought you were out of reach
but now I’ve crossed this vast country
in belief that you would wait.
I met you in the dunes of a foreign beach
that day. My atrophied muscles struggling
with stable land. You had seashells in your hair
and naked for all I cared as if you had sprung
from the ocean itself. You found my travels cute,
but misplaced. Your love fell on another face
like the passing sun. “Sorry for collateral damage,”
you said, “but I was so far from home
and looking for something to make me feel good.
I never meant to hurt you.”
They never do I suppose.

I joined Reese on the next train out.
He asked what all the crying was about.
I told him that my lovers was gone
and yet how beautiful I had held her.
I told him I was homeless, like him,
and that he was right about never returning home.
“That is not what I said at all,” he laughed.
“I would never lie like that. It just isn’t
about searching lad. It’s about knowing
what you have.”

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There are words caught on my tongue
and my arms are getting weak.
My stomach is coming undone
and my brain has sprung a leak.
Fingers pluck a bass like jazz
improving notes like rain
on her ivory skin, and at last,
I can’t complain. I can’t complain.
Eight days a week, it’s all the same
until, with luck, you lose
yourself, your pride. You lose the game
of give to receive, sacrifice to chose,
leave to draw love, love to please.
In her skin she hides, waiting for me
to reveal myself. Surprise! I never was
before your eyes saw me. See?
There was no finding me, it was finding us.
Its time to heal, with every string
I pluck, and you sing Catullus,
With some luck and a thousand kisses
we’ll steal from fate this crazy thing
we thought we’d get alone.
We are going to find our way home.

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Ours are the only lights in downtown Worcester
Electricity is a fragile touch at 40 miles an hour.
These are the nights of youth for young inventors
With drinks and smiles, like us, and the three ladies at the bar.
Simplicity is the power to resist holding tongues,
to ignore ethical necessity, to allow change to rout
the phalanx of lightless office buildings. We’re the ones
made of stories, eyes of hallow grounds, we’re figuring out
distance means being flightless in our feelings and honesty
means being selective with our sounds

Our night was filled with worlds of swirling smoke,
poetry if not honesty, and memories that fade like city lights.
Ash falls on our outfits, burning from our cigars as we spoke
about health nuts who would never live thru these Worcester nights
with any sanity or soul. We talk about where we’d rather be;
Israel, Germany, Florence (with a lady sleeping next to me) –
But mostly we talk about going back in time and just doing this more often.
Outside, a different building, a different person, a different whole watches
through eyes without curtains too dark to see.They count off
ten orange cones marking a different route home. In their subconscious
they’ll recall 3 men exiting a bar who entered as boys at a birthday party.
Their shared victory would be timeless as they drove back in the dark.

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