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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

June 8th, 2018

We pulled our lawn chairs close together
onto the flexure of the world
and into the hanging light, that often falls
at the same time of day as the failing of our beer supply,
whispered our deepest concerns.
A lot of people die without knowing anything truly happy.
A lot of people die without knowing anything.
A lot of people die without.

A lot of people die.

Occum’s flattened earth is taut, and doesn’t give.
Where do rivers go if they don’t run in circles?
When they come to the edge of an unfolded map
do they fall into wine-dark space? Or rise above, finally relinquished
from the gravity of indecision. This space between
spaces is so thin, and haunting. Is it worse to be angry in a bad place,
or lonely in a beautiful place?

Larry Walters knows. Our last beer is for him.
Poured into the abyss, floating ever upward
above the mountains, passed the lanterns that
hang from an antique bronze cloche
and into heaven where he sits with St. Anthony
outside the pearly gates. They kill time. Talk about travel.
Food. Wine. Tattoos. But they don’t go in. They never go in.

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Revisiting

Such great sound is put into the world
because of travel.

Turning to comment
on our turbulence I found
earbuds already planted in her
as a casual dismissal of altitude
so I used alcohol to
assuage my anxiety.

On the other hand,
a stranger was resorting to piety.
The pressurized cabin
on her shoulders tilted upward
and only the vaguest trembling words
betrayed her private actions.

Such great sound is put into the world
because of travel.

And how the rumbling must feel to the
unborn child whose face is pressed
against the thin skin of a proscenium.
How the audience booms
in anticipation.
And were it not for innocence
would it sound like hell itself?

The medicated man is in an artificial
but deep slumber
that would look almost angelic
were it not for the occasional
signs of sleep apnea. His stillness
had kept an emerging tide of drool
confined to his lip – but it might not last.

Our return to equilibrium
coincides with a soft amen.

Such great sound is put into the world
because of travel.

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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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