Friday, July 29, 2011

A Shade Below

You sang me this tune oh so long ago
The meaning of which I just need to know
The words were scribbled on a bar receipt
The ink has faded now it’s incomplete

Strumming on the chords of so long ago
Strumming out a tune just a shade below
Flippin’ all the switches turnin’ all the dials
Wanderin’ back for the smiles.

You wandered away, seems like yesterday
The story I know but it’s not ok
You made it a case of just do or die
Tears wells up but only the seagulls cry

Strumming on the chords of so long ago
Strumming out a tune just a shade below
Flippin’ al the switches turnin’ all the dials
Wanderin’ back for the smiles.

You found me lurking on the internet
A friend recommended me on a bet
You saw my picture and just had to know
Has it been good or just a shade below?

Strumming on the chords of so long ago
Strumming out a tune just a shade below
Flippin’ al the switches turnin’ all the dials
Wanderin’ back for the smiles.

Would You like a Receipt?

October 9th
At 8:58 AM
I bought this notebook.
It cost $1.69
(plus 10 cents tax)
Shopping at the Colonial Market
(now defunct)
In Niantic, Connecticut
(still funct)
I was handed 21 cents in change.
This poem serves
As the return
On that investment.

Monday, July 25, 2011

No Harm

I am not a threat to you
And I mean you no harm,
So put down your weapons
It is not much I ask of you
And although we differ
I will listen to you
And I will know your part,
I will listen:
I am not a threat to you.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Metrics of These Moments

Summer is still with us
Sticking slug-like to the fingers
But the parable is reaching its midpoint
As the pages flutter in the hot breeze
Through the monthly chapters
And almost imperceptivity
The metrics of these moments
Are appearing.

I love them dearly
As they tell their old time tales
But still as they unspool and unwind
They pace this story
And so such glory
Compels a feeble grasp
A finger to mark this place
Then finally a chuckle and a smile.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Road Trip

It was 103 degrees when we left Kansas City. Jack was squinting over the steering wheel, already miles down the road, as Regina looked sideways and north up the Missouri River, chin on hand, elbow on the open window.

It was cooking hot and the day was just coming on. The car’s tires were sticking to the cement pavement like a three day old bandage.

As we eased onto I-70 towards Denver, heat was refracting in waves off the interstate. Mirages and the last of the hash induced a stupor in me, maybe giving me a last look over my shoulder, blearily reflecting back on the year I had spent in KCMO.

One year exactly, and then I just crawled across the finish line.

The three of us were all a bit lost, hoping that Rand McNally could show us a new way.

For me, it had been a year that had slowly come unraveled, starting as a soldier in the “War on Poverty” and ending as a refuge, somehow both abandoned by and a deserted from that cause.

It was a year that had begun with ambitious hope and eager allies and then had drifted and derailed in the haze that was 1970, and finally and essentially ending in the stark cold-steel-barred realities.

I had been stupid then.

Now all I really had left was the fact that I had made the one year mark, one year in misguided service, and perhaps the thickheaded comfort in knowing that I had kept a promise. That, an army surplus duffel bag stuffed with my life’s belongings, and a couple hundred dollars cash.

We headed west into the glow, poaching in the four-door Rambler American. Jack eased off the exit ramp onto the Kansas state highway, and in a moment we were walking into the tepid waters of a public beach, not bothering to strip-off our cutoff jeans and t-shirts. The indifferent water offered only partial relief from the heat. The local folk, families and kids, stared in shocked disbelief at the sight of three long haired hippies bathing in their waters.

“Well look-a there, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” a maintenance worker howled to his buddy across the parking lot.

We quickly found our way back to the highway.

Somewhere further down the road a thunder-squall doused the road, bringing water across the prairie sky and onto the ground, and then evaporating again almost as quickly as it coated the bending wheat fields.

The rain yielded little satisfaction, vapor rising, water cycling; only offering the soprano songs of four wheels, as they dragged and drew us through the breadbasket and into cattle country.

It was then that I saw my first tumbleweeds, hot-footing their way across the singed Colorado side roads, and heading west and north, seeking the mountains and their mighty swaths of sage and shade.

We will meet again I thought, drifting.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Stray Reflections

Pit Bull, brown + white, adult.
Available to adopt on 7/5.
Who are you boy, and where have you been?
I ask, but may not want to know.
Your story is certainly sad
(For there you are)
But otherwise uncertain
Given your reputation.
Your fate is there, the writing is on the wall
Scribed in the cruel truth of abuse
And etched in the hang-dog expression on your face
Puzzled with no sure solution; waiting.
Is your flickering light so dimmed
By the unkindness of my kind?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Full Bore

A small wind crossed from ankle to knee
Before it dissipated into the stillness
Of your arrival.
I could see that you were driven
On a cautious quest for the seed
Just one small germ; the universe.
And frozen still, but doubtlessly moving
Your chin trembled
You tried vainly to place me
Tried to sense your situation
Cautiously curiously seeking meaning from this quandary
And ultimately you chose to ante up, all in
And melted in that interstice from
Frozen fear to the only real alternative,
Life full bore.
I wanted to tell you in our moment about cats
Those striking sphinxes
And coiled rat snakes whose
Fuse you might ignite.
It seemed only fair
Such a trade
After the things you have given to me.