Thursday, June 13, 2013

Immense Signs of Light in the Ohio Sky

I've been
to that cloud
seen its rapturous vapor
envelop me.  There is
no loud rule there
telling me to be
silent and kind
to my enemies.  If you
thought it was a wide
dark space, you're right--
flat and smoky
indigo with a crepuscular
light.  The tight
sense of favored

but awkward gifts.
When the final
gig begins, then,
pick up your
instrument gently--
the guitar should
be close to 
the hips, following 
the rock &roll
chakra.  As for the
sax, make it an tenor,
a man with hyper
mobility who must
play like he's Sonny Rollins.

And me, I'm just along,
picking chords
as if each one
were wrong, the
progression I make
near satanic.  Thing is,
who cares?  The band's
long ago split up
the players gone
 home to kitchens and lawns.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Chicago, Summer 2008

The one night.  Stipe was
singing at the United.
We ate at a diner

then bused down with some
anxious kids.  Who’d never seen
the high rise Moloch

up close.  I recall
telling them about the time

in ’99 when
we stayed at the Palmer House
so I could look for

a job.  A way out
of the far north.  It was cold
10 below but I 

went anyway.  They
remembered the indoor pool.
So I’ve been there.  A

hard place I wouldn’t
want to stay.  Where the music
goes “hey-hey”

and the lights last an
eternity when the last
train, the Empire

Builder pulls out, hot
for Milwaukee then empty
Wisconsin.  I was

there when the hard snow
fell, there when the summer poured
its heat into a singer

and the Chicago
river was dirty, green,  like
a story from Illinois.

The Loop

What to say.  That
I've given you
to say.

The daylight falls
the night is ripe
with wildness.

In the corner
of the yard
morning glories

unfold.  Under
the canopy
under a sky

you certainly
share.  The
line is still down.

You’ve seen
the same lakes
the storms

forming over
the plains, the
tornados, the snow.

It’s no
longer the case
I know not

your face,
the fate you chose
to hack out

where the sun
don’t shine
& the buildings

are monuments
to Moloch.  That
is all.  The Loop,

the Silversmith
Hotel.  All I know.
The crack of trains.

 The phone
 As a dial tone.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Apple Cider or Some Kind of Vinegar

I am the poet who died
inside you, although
my world is green and close
at hand.  I am who you killed
sometime in ‘93
as the hot Phoenix sun
cast itself long into
the bright day--you were
alone and the only thing
left for me was to die.
I am the poet who didn't
drown at the pool.  I was
no fool was I to fall in love away
from you, alone and sighing
for release.  The was no error
there in the hot light, the dry
ugly city surrounding us like
dead rocks--it was a colony
for the insane, I swear, and
driving by the hospital scared
me, at the end.  That you
would leave me there. I knew not
what powers, what unreason
kept me at your side for so long.
So when you killed me
I fell into the marihuana haze
of Eastern America like a leaf
falling from an oak in autumn.
Of the distant highways
I've traversed, of the stony shore or
the delights of heavy winter
snow,  you’ll live in me, a cold
ghost who I couldn’t banish
for my shame is gone and I see
nothing but the darkest of skies
ahead of me, there in the closing
distance where we'll all fall down,
 letting time overtake us
in his big red ‘67 GTO--
we’ll have no place to go,
and I’ll watch my children from
his back seat, as they build
their own impossible cities
along this road where there
was never anything to begin with.
There’s a poet dying in me.
Now.  In the clearest spring
air.   My body, O my body's
made of glass.  The mind
wanders to its end, the rustling in the trees
awakens in me things I've never seen--
the silent white window frames
of the neighbor's home in twilight
become absurd portals to my existence
out here in the suburbs
where summer advances
whether I like it or not.