I suspect it was you in the tent, speaking of Socrates and Soros and Galt and Gore, the latest device and back to school cuffed jeans, near the packed cars, sand, with me in no-man’s land, some latest device for old songs, sung by wounded poets, not the dead ones, the bleeding.
When they showed the rat’s tunnel, and hedged side deals, like clean 45 records, the Bojangles inyah, now near the burning tires, calling the name of the editor, to reverse engineer the cost of sleep.
None of that code designed for the poet.
Too much of the mulligan man, the way you found scraps of penned rhyme, that taut roll of birch bark, the moths yet awaiting the light, those spring roots plants from Jung, and marvelous Groppi Liberals reading fine print as Air Force One flew over.
You said no, the wings did not rock. You said he was only trying to jettison the blue ice from the toilet.
I laugh away the hours, your face seen upon rare clouds, high, laughing, or at least smiling as your wired jaw permits.
Don’t think I did not see and cry later, about the pus alongside the brace on your neck. You were walking strongly, albeit wobbly, bravely, and all I could do is wash your feet in my mind, on the road, you know.
Don’t forget that I see my red face on a black wall, and can identify more episodes of the Twilight Zone than Kenneth Patchen, how you saved what was left of my mind as the blond children canned tomatoes, and stretched their mouths, and crossed their eyes, honking or cutting the willow branch, its safety pin hook, to the brook.
Chubs chubs the twins yelled, small red seeds on chins, sticky to baby mosquitoes, the sound of the soliloquy, timeless as the old bull through rusted wire, menacing, the winter heaved top soil, thistled, May shade as dense as war, wonderment of bow saws and sawhorses older than serigraphs, older than the sun.
And now the snow falls. Thanks Ted H., Sylvia P., You own it.
Days of unpasteurized milk, raw milk, a lesser known topic, like the heat of a pressurized cooker, its steam of forgotten boilers, twenty-seven boats to high-heaven smithereens, and of board games with original instructions, dried like Lincoln’s purple grapes to the sea air, on spindled chairs with nine spokes, with you free-falling, jettisoned supersonically, alone with the wind.
Don’t even dwell for a moment, nor catch my eye off camera, how anger palsied my lip, mine eyes cast down, like the boy sent ‘round back, for a jug of water. The raw sugars of my lemonade, when all I could do is look away, and trust the breeze, to bring songs of the disenchanted.
You may remember me of each summer, until you went off with the porpoises, all that etymology like the deep stasis of the Bermuda Triangle, me one more in line, shaking your bandaged hand, with some secret privilege and awe of a statue, pivoting before the communication center, the hammer ride perpetual, barely suckling sized pigs on straw, despite the screams of terror.
Pleasedtomeetyou was all I had, American.
Straight-armed jets precisely at 4 am, always with the 4s, the afternoon lull, free as a gull.
When all I could do is fly away.
Or wait for the train, or catch your severed arm, the surgical metal paper box cut, as you kept trying to stand up, strongly, albeit wobbly, bravely.
I did not intend to write to you of mice and men,* or saddest words of filmic soliloquy, but of the day when I saw you enter the bat house, the last in line, as the teacher turned your head in the right direction, sos you would not be the child alone, screaming baby talk at the ripe old age of four.
There was a lake breeze that afternoon and, you know, all I could do is follow the sun.
Double enjambment here. Just enjoy. Gloria and me are off to Aruba. Forward the money order to Charlie’s. There’s room to read there.
This will be our first escape since 9/11 and your horrific death.
Oh, by the way, I still haven’t finished your dissertation on karma.
It’s beneath my pillow.
Regards (with boldest solidarity) I remain,
*Farmers Almanac, 1963