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I sit back down on the seat, feeling the compression of the springs. There was something I was going to do. What? What could it possibly have been? Iím on a train for godís sake. What could I have had in mind? I feel sleepy, but the seat is too small for sleeping, and definitely does not look like the reclining type. I imagine the train curving off in the distance to the locomotive. I imagine the Conductor leaning out of the locomotive, an old one with a huge funnel of a stack. There is no Engineer, only the Conductor.
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."
You have washed the poetry
out of your hair
and now are lying fresh and reading
as I begin to doodle .
On your side I write, "Kiss me here."
With a finer tip
(and in parens)
your right breast whispers,
"Tell me you love me."
She is like that
while the right one
in a bright red proclaims,
"I am a bad girl."
Working carefully with a fine hair brush,
I add "Kiss me" to your upper lip
and I think it is a
a moment between a dropped brush
and a kiss blooming like wildflowers
in hungry spring.
I am still holding onto this idea.
I carry it before me as I walk,
contemplating the nature of the thing.
It is the desire to write
a sonnet across your back
fourteen perfectly phrased lines of
I would compose while you read,
penning lyrics across your left breast
and long thoughtful phrases down your thigh.
Would you complain?
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.
I was going to bicycle today, but I have let the rain keep me from it. The rain waits until I take the bicycle out the door and then it begins to fall. I consider bicycling in the rain, the cool drops sliding off me as the rear tire slings a mud stripe up my back, but the rain comes harder until I let it drive me back inside. Then it slacks off. The universe is conspiring to keep me inside, to drive me to one of my keyboards and this is the only one I have time for today.
I cannot remember the name of the piece I am working on. I struggle with my brain to sort through the available documents, discarding one after the other. No this is not the one. That is not the one. This is a scene I repeat every now and again. But it does not make me unhappy. I am a happy man. I have a new mantra. Cha cha cha. I am having a good time. I am a happy man. Cha cha cha. I have an appointment to see my therapist this afternoon, and she is about to graduate me.
The blinds are closed. I can feel the house pressing down on me. I bought a new dishwasher Saturday. I am having it installed rather than crawling around beneath the sink myself. I installed the current one. I know what is involved. I would rather someone else did this. I can see much of what is to come with the work required for the house. I can see me hiring work done that I know how to do myself. It is ok. I am having a good time. Cha cha cha. Whooo whoo. Chugga and a chugga and a whooo-a-whooooooooo.
I took Heute with me to buy the dishwasher. It seemed like a good idea to get some objective input from someone else. This is what I told myself. It wasnít such a good idea in hindsight. I made the dishwasher selection in less than a minute. That is how I am when I make up my mind to buy something. No suffering over the selection. She, however, had her own agenda. She needed a new laptop. She did suffer over the selection. How long was I there? I don't know. It was longer than a minute I know that.
Then she was afraid her check wouldnít clear. Of course her check wouldn't clear. There was no money in her account. I paid cash for the dishwasher and put the laptop on my account. I gave her the benefit of a doubt that she did not plan this. Still, the fact that I mention it means the idea shot through my brain like a .45 cal bullet splashing colorful ideas all over my new dishwasher. She will of course pay me back before the account comes due. I wonder about this privately, not out where someone else would read it.
I have been watching Heute and yes, she is frequently kind, and she is nice to me, but she is not dependable in some senses. She is apt to say one thing and do another, or is it that she will plan one thing and do another? Does she promise one thing and do another? Or is it more like agree to one thing and just not do it? I have never lent her money before, but I have given her things, considerable things that she from my perspective flat-out demanded and given my mind-set, I am unable to deny.
What is this inability to deny? Is it that I do not wish to offend? Do I find these denials by others to be rude? I know that this thing is changing in me. Once I could not walk to the local Coney for lunch without losing more money to the panhandlers than I paid for lunch. Now, I have a different sense. Perhaps having been taken by so many scammers for so much and having become aware that there are countless people who survive by doing these things to others has changed what was once an openness in me.
It seems some months that were I to keep track of it, that Heute would be quite expensive. Yet she would be horrified to think such a thing herself. It is just a kink in her nature finding a fold in my nature very much in the same way that her son says he wants a new set of tires for his birthday knowing his mother is broke and about to be thrown out of her house. Mother however sets about freaking out trying to finance said set of tires until I point out that her son is abusing her.
The son does not scam his mother intentionally, but he is pushing a button on a machine that has always been there, that has always worked. This machine should be shut down because he wants to be independent and mostly because his mother can no longer afford to buy him tires. Likewise, I probably cannot continue to buy my children automobiles or buy Heute stereos and laptops simply because they are able to access me at manic moments. I need to figure out how to shut this thing off. I have gotten better but I clearly have further to go.
Jo called early this morning. I was already awake though. Someone had gotten one of her credit cards and was using it and it had shorted her bank accounts. I immediately responded with a similar story of my own. For twenty minutes I matched her financial catastrophe for financial catastrophe until she mumbled something about going somewhere else and we finished by talking for an hour about her new boyfriend. It is unthinkable the thousands of dollars I have spent on my friends, on my children, on the Terryís, the Lisaís, the Heute's, and Leannís over the past several years.
It could have been a bad thing
narrowly missed as the shadows
marched long-legged across my lawn.
It might have been thought to be a
when the strange white balls of cottonwood drifted
unchecked across the sky,
When we danced
learning the mathematical
rituals of the square
and the branch
These are the things that happen when
we all know and are known by one
way to entertain ourselves
as the shadows slide over the damp grass
and reach ever longer over the hill
slowly lowering the sun
sizzling into the dawn.
I think you know I'm waiting.
We were not confused or stranded
Were not caught sleeping or dreaming
when this strange bird landed.
There's a walk down by the river
down by the morning service
we hear the bridges howl
And I know you're kinda nervous
In this life there are all kinds
of pretty colors and light for hire
sunshine, larceny and grief
singing in uncertain choir
It's a walk, a cry, a scream
for a life that won't steer you wrong
Won't you please stop so I
can count for a breath
a bloom, a spiral, a song.
evening becomes so tiny condensing flowers with dew Like a bird hidden chirping out a single note falling like single sheets of typing paper dropping to the floor one by one dashing themselves hard against the ones gone before evening becomes so tiny even without the boundaries of sense and punctuation the heavies are out back loading their truck throwing bags of cement and two-by-fours evening becomes so tiny the lawnmower a block over whining hungry as the sun settles into someone's tomorrow evening becomes it narrows as life slides over to the edge to the boundary inescapable life funnel
evening becomes so tiny condensing flowers with dew weaving itself between the links of a chain pulling hard against the porch swing. Hear the long squawk Like a bird hidden chirping out a single note evening becomes so tiny even without the boundaries of sense and punctuation The stars are piercing the dim curtain of day like the insistent roots of tiny flowers cracking open the sky. We are marking them hanging them there one by one as the aperture slowly winks shut evening becomes it narrows as life slides over to the edge to the boundary inescapable life funnel
evening becomes so tiny The blinds of night slowly dropping on the horizon The stars are piercing the dim curtain of day like the insistent roots of tiny flowers shouting open the night sky. We are marking them as they are lit one by one and the aperture slowly winks shut evening becomes it narrows as life slides over to the edge to the boundary inescapable life funnel working as we hardly notice weaving itself between minutes and hours of the day before and the night to come. evening becomes so tiny even without the boundaries of sense and punctuation
I am listening to the whine of a universe of insects as the day slowly layers into evening, settling the sun and clouds, one on top of the other and down into coming night. Evening becomes so tiny The blinds of night dimly dropping on the distant rim. The stars are piercing the dry whine of day like the insistent roots of tiny flowers popping open the night sky. We are marking them as they are lit one by one tiny and narrow to the edge where fireflies are swimming along the watch where the world's aperture slowly winks shut.
i am guessing the dense fog rolling over the front yard is the neighbor burning trash again. This is what one is to expect from a certain level of social evolution. I'm part of the straight-ahead in-crowd and I know what the straight-ahead and kicked off in-crowd knows. She turns back with an ilove you and you duck, weave and dodge, boxing your way to the register where there is a counter display of angst and whine. Lots of chocolate for me to eat and I'm in line for you. Could you be so brave to do all this again?
It is an insistent declaration of a paucity of words crowding at the gate. They are shoving aggressively and rolling hard edges one over the other. I can hear you coming down the stairs but i don't look up because i have five more minutes here, five minutes I have negotiated for and have won in hand-to-hand combat. Leaves are drooping in the cottonwoods. I do not know what they have to complain about. They have gotten plenty of rain this spring. The land has a squish to it as you walk the lawn, water swirling in over your shoes.
Evening becomes tiny,
a darkening instance with
toy farms, miniature sheep and cows
and a man in coveralls with a bucket.
It is an ice cream cone
with a hard candy shell
held between two fingers
I am listening to the whine
of a universe of insects
as the day slowly layers into
settling the sun and clouds,
one on top of the other
into coming night.
Evening becomes so tiny
The blinds of night dimly
dropping on the distant rim.
The stars are piercing
the dry dome of day
like the insistent roots of tiny flowers.
I am listening to the whine
of a universe of insects
as the day slowly layers down,
settling the sun and clouds,
one on top of the other
and into the coming shroud.
Evening becomes so tiny
The metal blinds clipping shut
on a distant rim.
These terrible stars are piercing
the rippled belly dome of day
like the insistent roots of wild flowers
popping open the night sky.
We are marking them
as they are lit
one by one,
small and narrow to the edge
where fireflies are swimming
along the watch
where the world's aperture
slowly winks open.
I am having a wicked day, and in conformance with that I think one word and type another again and again. A bird glides past a window otherwise occupied by a gnat or fly or ancient spirit of some powerful magician long past. I am thinking of wicked day and the person who first gave me that legend. I am thinking of the way these come and go from your life, some persons passing into other lives and some passing from life altogether and of course this reminds me of my own passing, both from others and in the absolute.
Well things are looking bleak and, so I will whimper, climb the stairs and find my bottle of Ativan while I whip myself for being such a sissy about life. I will light those candles that I can, making a schedule, taking a shower, and squirting drops into my eyes. The day will chunk along, a machine with a life its own that will take from me whether I participate or not. Summer does not need to be this hard. I could even take my bike to that oversized park to the east, remembering the sign, No Swimming, upside down.
It is nearly cold, a July day that would normally be hot, it hangs in the mid-sixties all day, the thermometer not moving even to go down at night. Normally this time of year a cool shower would be the order of the day, but today I take a hot shower and it feels good. Getting dressed I put on a pair of long cargo pants instead of the shorts I have been wearing. I think about the long cold winter we had and recall the predictions for 20 more years of the same. Not a hair on the spine.
My son called early this afternoon to tell me that his wife's water had broken. The baby will be born sometime within the next twenty-four hours. They had questions. Why had I told them to not name the baby a junior? I tried to explain over the cranky connection the difficulties about crossed records for car insurance and credit checks. It seemed to me at one point that my own difficulties may have been due more to the larceny in my younger son's soul than to his name, so I told them to name the baby whatever they wanted to.
I received a notification from Facebook that I had "Notifications" pending. As usual, even while asking myself "What the hell is a "Notification?" I clicked my merrily along to a page of pseudo information about people I barely knew. As I did so I mentally envisioned a giant Facebook counter incrementing itself for each "access" and Facebook blazing out the other end some phenomenal number of "visits" it has received over this period of time. Of course it is a scam. It seems that everywhere we look we are beset with hungry little scams feeding off us, the new commerce.
I am feeling a little closed-in today. Perhaps it is because I did not go for a bicycle ride. It seems that on the days I ride, I am in a better mood. All those hormones that are produced by exercise? I don't seem to want to touch anyone, or to be touched by anyone this day. I duck when I see touch coming my way, lock the doors when someone comes up the drive. It is a darkness, but I settle into it nevertheless. I check the time. Yes there is still time to get out on the bike.
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