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This shaggy wife distracts me from the truth. I won't be forced against it, my head held tight against the glass where I can feel the fever, cold against my head. This is when it happens, is when it falls. This is when the idea strikes me like a man in the night with a baseball bat. You see the man coming, but the light is funny. You don't see what he is holding, don't fully understand he is holding anything, don't get it why he is moving funny, don't comprehend the meaning of that strange look on his face.
And I am coming around to something here, something fine and perfect, not like these squirmy little laces in my hands. Something I’m going to want to think about in a little while. The thing is not whole and it is hungry like the cold, like the knowledge flat against its head. The thing is a living squirmy thing that may or may not want to eat you while you are asleep may chase you down the street while you scream for help from passersby who will very likely ignore you. This thing is being born and will not un-happen.
Neroli I am coming across a wet slaw of grass moving toward a new perfect lake. The skiff crosses without ripples I have stepped off the shore of possibility of cool moisture, aware of the idea of the boat's position in the water and that liquid displaced and tightly wrapped around. I am aware of the boat's movement, rolling down the slope of water, dragging the bottom up and over thinking the sounds of wood moving over gravel pebbles pressing into sand pressing up and into the wood of the boat. Look up and feel the moisture against your face.
Neroli I step out feeling the lift of the light wood, the fluid touch of the pad of foot against the seat board, the light boat moving away as i step onto the sand. No, I am not thinking about that other thing. I have learned that is not a good place to go. It is too much like stepping into the tornado that growls around my house too much the chill in the air that signals that all things may not be as safe as they seem to be. I am drifting out into the mist over the lake
Neroli Now taking the meat and sludge with me under the horrible rumble, I can feel the flex of my ankle climbing the hill, aware of the skin, meat and bone, of the blood held in such intense combine that it would fly out like a swallow and escape cleanly into the air. I am climbing the slippery leaning into the slope my nose now down low against the ground where I can breathe in the life there and where I learn to know the passage of worms, animals and the smell of new rain leaking out of the ground.
It has been raining much of the day. I got out earlier and began mowing, and I got half the front yard finished before the rain got serious. Michael Jr. has agreed to do some work tomorrow so that may be what he gets, if the rain does not stop him. He has to schedule the work around his g/f. He takes after his father and still lets his dick do much of his thinking for him. I understand that some day that will no longer be a problem for me. I have often considered looking forward to that day.
I saw a deer on the hill this morning while I was teaching. They are harder to see these days because the foliage is leafing out. I thought about getting the camera and taking a picture for Amie because she likes the deer pictures so much and it was a good view, but I did not get a break in the tut while the deer was still there. The writing has not been going well. I have no excuse. Perhaps I have had other distractions. Perhaps I forget to take advantage of the times when the muse is upon me.
This morning I am a little ragged even though I slept very soundly throughout the night. I am lumpy and the brain is skittish, darting and dragging me all over the place. I take an Ativan and set the timer. Within twenty minutes the brain is calmed and the morning is beautiful. My son says he has the day off and asks if there is any work he can do. I suggest either mowing the lawn or cleaning the pond and filter. He does both. It is clearly a day for wonderful things. I think about calling the piano tuner.
Well, I think I got too much sun yesterday. It turned my hair to butter melting down the side of my face and caused the brain to swell pushing my eyes out of my head. It was a swell day in that sense. Just thinking about it makes me sleepy. It is really a beautiful day here with the sun glinting off the lawn and the Sunday fliers leaping from the tiny airport in their planes. I'm thinking about calling the piano tuner and playing anyway even if the tune is not exactly perfect. There are two theories about pitch.
I have slipped out for coffee
and back in again.
It is very quiet, but I am ready for
some very quiet this morning
perhaps not mothering darkness.
That would intrude
on the sublime sense of
lifting I get as the sun levers
me gently off the floor.
The morning is slightly off but
I have seen worse and you
are painting your toes
leaving me to
lean over to kiss toes
and get paint
in my beard
leaving me to wonder
about paint on your body
and the secret life of kiss.
Runes in polish shouting,
"Kiss me here."
I am still holding onto this idea.
I carry it before me as I walk, contemplating
It is the desire to write on
a sonnet across your back
fourteen perfectly phrased lines of
I would compose while you lay reading,
me penning lyrics across your left breast
and long thoughtful phrases down your thigh.
And during the day when we are out, you are
poetry in motion, cotton and synthetic mix covering the ink and skin
your top unbuttoned exposing some sunny
metaphor that slips back under a strap.
But you are shopping.
On your side I write, "Kiss me here."
(And in parens)
your right breast whispers,
"Tell me you love me."
while the right one
in a bright red proclaims,
"I am a bad girl."
"Bite me " is scrawled across your ass
while lower and closer to your leg you suggest,
And on your right thigh I draw an arrow
with the notation, "Lick; repeat."
I am scribbling "Nibble" on your neck and
on your spine.
Working carefully with a fine hair brush,
I add "Kiss me" to your upper lip
and "suck here" to the other.
I am coming across a wet slaw of grass and it is a quiet perfect early evening in a day where I have done nearly everything nearly right and where events have conspired to make me happy. I am moving toward a new perfect lake where he rain has pooled in rippled deep puddles in my front yard, where the Grand River has overflowed its banks, flooding the mill pond and rolling across main street. It is great weather for ducks you see and they strut up and down the drowned-orange-coned main street pausing to look into closed windows like tourists with bags and outrageous shirts and shorts leaning up against the impossibly clunking traffic lights.
I have stepped onto shore of possibility,
of cool moisture,
and into a polite afternoon
where all other persons seem to have vanished.
Aware of the idea of the boat's position in the water,
where it is touched by the liquid displaced and
tightly wrapped around,
aware of the boat's movement, the slight keel
rolling down the slope of water,
dragging the bottom up and over.
I am thinking the sounds
moving over gravel:
of pebbles pressing into sand
pressing up and into the soft face of the boat.
Look up and
feel the moisture against your eyes.
I step out feeling the lift of the light wood, the fluid touch of the pad of foot against the seat board, the light boat moving away as I step onto the sand. No, I am not thinking about that other thing. I have learned that is not a good place to go. It is too much like stepping into the tornado that growls around my house too much the chill in the air that signals that all things may not be as safe as they had seemed to be. I am drifting out into the mist over the lake
Now taking the meat and sludge with me under the horrible rumble I can feel the flex of my ankle climbing the hill, can feel the heat of the skin and bone, of the blood held in such intense combine that it would fly out like a swallow and escape cleanly into the air. I am climbing the slippery leaning into the slope my nose now down low against the ground where I can breathe in the life there and where I learn to know the passage of worms and the smell of new rain leaking out of the ground.
I am coming down into the grass blades bending beneath my feet posture perfect eyes fixed ahead out into the cool of the evening and moving toward a new perfect lake. Thunder shakes the ridges while splats of rain smack the back of my neck. But the skiff crosses without ripples without extending new possibilities. It is the passage of harm the rotted wood of the reaper boatman and within this cool morning. My thoughts are serene while the weathered disposition tosses wild and unkempt around, aware of the idea of the boat's position in, but untouched by, the water.
There is only movement without sense of movement. We are like that painting of Washington crossing the Delaware and we are caught crossing never moving forward or backward, but only caught in the instant of the crossing hanging on this or that person's wall They are dragging the boat out of the water, dragging the boat forward now, lifting the front end so that you have to lean into the lift, so that you are aware of yourself as a weight to be balanced and there is the slow crunching of the wood against sand and stones on the beach.
Lifted out of the water and pitched onto the bank high enough so that your toes are not buried in the sand this is where you will wake up some hours from now while the sun is high in the sky, when the lake is gone and even the boat has been removed from the painting. There is something about a solid coating of grass and trees extending as far as the eye can see with the wind blowing cold against you where you can feel it seeping through your clothes, where you can feel hints of your own mortality.
The wind laughs at you, flicking and passing on to something more interesting. I step out feeling the light wood bobbing off already leaving the fluid touch of foot against the seat board. The tiny boat slips away as I step onto the sand. No, I am not thinking about that other thing. I have learned that is not a good place to go. It is too much like stepping into the storm that growls around my house too much the chill in the air that signals that all things may not be as safe as they seem to be.
As we pass a deserted station I am able to flick off onto an overgrown sidetrack while the conductor is not watching. As the car slows to a stop I can see the movement through a large crack in the floor. The ties and gravel are passing below the belly of the car. A giant purple clover blossom brushes by. The conductor blows ahead, pinwheel eyes barely concealed under the brim of his cap. Somewhere in the machinery, he has registered my disconnection. He knows I have gotten away. Eventually he will make the calculations to pick me up again.
Freedom came at a price. I was exhausted. The mad conductor had used up whatever energy I had. I wanted to sleep now. If I fall asleep, he will pick me up as easily as a nurse picking a baby from a nursery. Yet he has left me so tired, I can barely move my arms. This morning I woke with one thought: I can’t do this anymore. The boy was running around me in circles, not even looking at me. He was playing train again only instead of going “chu-chu-chu,” he was going “What is ‘This’?” “What is ‘This’?”
It occurred to me that I did not know what “This” was, unless it was being, riding the train, or being ridden. The crone would be proud of me this morning. It is not Noon and I have already eaten breakfast. I was not hungry, but I cooked an egg and ate it. I know how to do that. You just tell yourself it is medicine. It is medicine that requires preparation. It is like drinking cod liver oil for mother out of the giant serving spoon. There are many medicines that require preparation. Some of them require extensive preparation.
It is Memorial Day, and the temperature has already blown past eighty. At some point I will have to go “out.” That is part of my “therapy” that everyone agrees to, my going “out.” I think I must cheat on this, because it does not seem to achieve anything. I look around, wondering if the conductor has picked me up again without my knowing. I sniff the air for the naphthalene. No. I am still free. I lay my head back on the chair and close my eyes. It feels almost like a caress. It is also like a sickness.
Tomorrow I am scheduled for an interview. It is with the American Legion. Their hall is not being properly managed and they need help. They are sorting out whether they want to completely or partially replace the woman currently doing the job. And they likely need someone with experience avoiding conductors. I have experience of course. However I am not sure how much longer my meager bag of tricks will continue to work. I think I can fix their problem by partially replacing her and handling the scheduling and overall coordination. They really just need someone to answer the phone.
Today my primary mode is fear. I am sleepy. I got up early again. Six hours sleep maybe. I wonder what I am afraid of. I am afraid of making mistakes I know, but that is not important. I have too many things to do. I can pick one and do it and that is not a mistake. This morning I did my financials and elected to send $500 to the motorcycle loan Junior defaulted on. That was not a mistake. Getting myself involved in it in the first place was a mistake. That is not where my fear lies.
I should take a nap but I seem to be afraid to, afraid the conductor will and grab me while I am sleeping perhaps. I have an interview later today. I am making little moves to prepare to sell the house. I am a little nervous about that. Each of these micro moves requires decisions that have longer-term consequences. I find myself getting reactive, fearful, and querulous. I act like an old man now sometimes. I think life is for the young. Life is for the mentally healthy. Life is for the emotionally secure. Three strikes and you are out.
I have been saying I am sleepy a lot. Basic needs here. Food. Sleep. Exercise. I have some things to take care of I suppose. I eat and take a small nap somehow. I wake up afraid. It seems I am afraid of death, and this does not seem odd to me to be afraid of death after waking up so many times wanting to be dead. I go to the mail box and there is a check there for Terry. I send her an email telling her about it. I have heard she is coming back to the states.
I am dreading this. I am dreading her return. I know she will not come here, yet this is what I am afraid of. I am afraid to sell this place. I am afraid to stay here. So much of what I do is governed by fear. So much of what I do not do is governed by fear. I look for the road of lesser fear when things are this way. This is the cycle of fear though. There are many cycles, all moving, cycles within cycles. Cycles moving across cycles, interrupting cycles. It is not a unicycle, or even a bicycle. It is some fantastic machine of cogs and chains moving, dripping oil, shifting uncontrollably across a track which has an abrupt end.
It is a pretty good day all told even though I am on the train. Yes, I am on the damn train. I can feel the train rocking; I can smell the dry rot from the cushions and the naphthalene from the Conductor’s uniform. Outside, I see the soup of seeds drifting by in the sun, but I know it is an illusion. Some part of it is an illusion. I wonder which part is real. The train is moving. Can I get off the train? A small boy walks up and asks for a nickel to buy a soda.
Leaning over, I fish in my pocket for the nickel. I can feel one in the bottom, but I can’t quite reach it. I have to stand up, pulling myself up against the empty seat in front of me. I stand there, bracing myself against the rocking of the train, one hand moving in my pocket as the boy watches me. I give him the nickel. “Thanks mister!” He runs out of the car on legs that seem to be too short, on heavy leather shoes that seem to sink into the wooden floor of the car as he runs.
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