Round Wicker Baskets

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We will learn each other well
but for now 
I am like the deer
from that old story
about the hungry Brahmi 
on his front porch every night
with blackberries in palm
thinking
maybe I am the blackberry
or maybe I am the deer
either way
my friends don’t seem to be coming tonight


[how fortunate to evaporate from Samsara like cascading sands]
to be calm 
when your gut
tells you otherwise

 

Am I to be stoic? 
nobody around to answer
questions of the night
so in the morning 
stand up too fast
try to leave them with the wool-
you can see the heart beating 
in a ribcage nook
through the chest
the poor thing trembling in there
this rotten machine
I’ve done ill
we smile together
in the stark lonesomeness
of clothes piled up on the floor
mattress on the floor again
with everything else too

 

good branches
were special artifacts
cut logs abandoned 
the best seats
I want to go back
& pat you on the shoulder-
When you were young
you wanted to run away from the world
that was closing in on you 
I want to tell you to be calm 
even though
worse days are coming
for with them you grow

 

to be stoic?
to be our own greatest friends?
Years passed feeling the surface of the bricks in the alley
physicists shot particles at eachother
& learned things about anti-matter that made them question everything they’d known
the drought on the west coast rolled along
until brought to ash which was best I knew it anyways 
long spindling caverns ran below the surface
that some would travel but man would never know 
great monks were carried to grounds of ascension in secret places
Lance got his rest
Johnny moved away
Megan went to school
Brother was a rollercoaster with great peaks & worrying falls
I started to wonder if I’d tried to keep up with him too long
everything that would come to unfold was a testament to duality 
we were extremes in search of balance
sat on the bricks & ran my hand along the dirt
unearth a marble one day
carry sarira of the Marjorie in my pocket
& is it blessing
or bad omen
something to get me down river

 

The airlessness
Of the room
The taste of rotten wood 
when our idols crumble 
how we learn them immortal
through our own volition

 

The road unfolding in solitary for as long as 4 1/4 gallons could make eternity last 
the orbs of light cascading psychedelic loops
& more of the road always coming
the homes & lives & landscaped hedges going  
the desolate no where lots 
that called my name
vagrant sirens 
with promises of more
I could drive forever
& maybe my children will suffer for it 
but let them know 
that I was faster than the world entrapped me
Is this our commonality? 
The unwinding too much for each of us alone?
is anyone meant to understand this mythology in whole?
I didn't want a thing 
I wanted it all
I wanted to hold it in my hand like a stone, put it away in a pocket, maybe show it to a woman something juvenile like that-
No no- I wanted to teach my brother joy 
I wanted to reach out to the sky, pluck stars between my fingertips, crush them in palm & smear celestial poultice cross forehead, ask god for myself
I wanted to curse the sorry cycle that consumed my family, knock down all the cell towers, tear up all the asphalt, breathe in all the smog & hate & dust & exhale benevolent
    what is it for? 
    Am I to be stoic? 
What was I to learn? crushed the front end of the Nissan on the highway & got stuck to wander out east a few weeks. Only friends out here wear tired jaw & they don't know if they can trust me the first block & the second block I don't need to buy a rose really I got nobody to take it home to but by the end of the third it’s free- begging me to take it & what kind of lick is wandering around here this time of night anyway, you seem like an odd man, where are you headed & I say I don't want to carry no rose another 15 blocks to lay it down on the asbestos windowsill & lay me down my dusty skeleton in the lead ceiling lead everything, how long have you lived here old man?
Bees show up dead on the floor or only dying, 
keep some sugar water around.
Does spirit only reveal itself in simplicity?
In secret places that we cannot call upon?
Pull on a grape vine & the stray branch that falls between us & the buck that walks in our shadow
The sounds of the planet shaking, the only evidence here on the ground uncountable golden hue of the Autumn breathlessness of moment, the calm that stay my heart when this vessel wander anointed- know spirit well in these hours, it’s too much for my mouth to speak but there’s a red ball on some rocks in the river
& if you don’t know I love you now 
you may never
but you can keep all your speech patterns
to yourself this time

 

when did I get this way?
how did I end up in this place?
on the red line back when it ran all night 
men with a glass rose huddled in corner of the back car 
& fumbling a bad pass
to shatter on ground
o- the agony
excited anguish sings
crystalline echo
echo
the cartoonish cruelty
gods of fate
can bestow
shielded from cold 
at the least 
what was I learning here 
when I had no place to go
weary of urban romance lately
but song of self 
might linger back there
climb onto
a poorly broken horse
on a poorly broken day
& take a ride
where
nobody 
‘aint nobody 
got a goddamn for 
anybody
but a rose

 

sometimes 
a Sunday morning trip
back west
& blaring thru window 
warm jungle afternoon
jim beam in pack slosh
maybe gut
large waxy leaves fan along outside slapping windows
heavy drowsy hot sun sloshing around
young brilliant feeling of eternity 
& in a few years
everything you love 
you will love again
but with a new heart
rebuilt spinach leaves
& a shell like artichoke
when the backdrop seems closest
as though you could reach out 
grab onto the tail of the future 
leave the grime & sorrow behind 
you may feel crushed in hand the last offer
lick your palm then
there are more blackberries 
someplace near the ground 

 

by turn of lens 
it can all be made anew
and what was once 
a slow lonesome ride
you will feel joy
for rust 
for cold
 the wet night of blistered foot 
& wonder poor fool
what it was that changed
but you
has the winter warmed 
or do I not find the same hours 
that youth held 
catching shelter from the lakes encroaching bitter
on walls of latitude 
& thank god 
for nights of solemnity 
& oh thank god 
for the walks down the street 
to the gas station 
& that minute on the bridge 
too cold to think

 

by turn of lens 
losing track of
what was once
only ever loved things
that were far enough away to blur
anyways
All the disjointed hours 
that run together in memory smear
somebody must have spilled bleach on mine
with closed eye
could be riding in the passenger
on the sleepy winter mornings
where true silence resides,
it smells like a woman I love
& whatever that smell is comes around on the wind when I need most-
bring a sharpness to the air
a keen rise in the senses
like something nice might happen
smoking took my olfactory 
but there are a few 
my brain still know 
o-the soft vanilla rose of a woman
has smelled the same since I was twelve years old
the timid fears pooling in gut 
the trained self-suffering
trying to make off  
a fumbling handful of flash paper 
the whole house up in smoke
o-the myriad of influence 
that weave into
my one-dimensional desires

 

at a young age
learned to shut off & float by 
free of attachment
the mind impenetrable
beginning I am that 
until some few 
shine through that cloak 
warm my putrid little amethyst heart 
glow

 

it’s a poor idea
to dwell in memory  
boy
& if you won't listen 
it'll be beaten into you
slow
by the barbed slaps 
of morning
don’t count those losses 
just pick up what’s left 
& walk
barter with god 
at night 
meet me in the mornings
always by chance 
to stand in the whipping snow
& draw straws

if you catch the right day 
how miraculous 
for all that may be
learned most 
in solitary
the 
self-concerned 
& sacrilegious
signs of decay 
interpreted promises 
from wise & kind who came before
perpetual adoration of impermanence
on the road to firmament
where some truth lie
& most truths lies
until surmount the temperament
draws us to distance

won’t you
meet me in the morning
sit at the low table & roll dice
where pops say
I gotta learn to speak
‘fore they cut off my tongue 

 

dice?

 

toppled walls 
plywood windows 
birds in the rafters 
water rot 
drip drip on my shoulder
cigarettes
cigarettes & dice 
& dice trouble for some men
but not if you 
leave heavier 
but cigarettes
cigarettes took my grandfather & my father then
they kept me lean 
my lungs heavy 
& that poor thing in my chest thump
four of us huddled over a pizza box
in the dilapidated molding night 
playing for singles 
& hot shit to win a roll, for the money then not just the sport
6$ was the better part of a pack of smokes 
a few years later 
toss it away at saks 
& scrape our pockets again 
the dog with her paws on my shoulders while we stand in the downpour of some cold gas station night
where only the fools are wet & the wet ceaseless
& rain
make me look older
than I am
a cheap ticket
into all the places 
I never should have been 
a few years later 
like I was born there
what a pleasant trick 

 

& all stations free aside from tower city 
it was something 
you could count on-
in Cleveland 
those sorts of things
were hard for me to find.

 

barreling east down 90 in the aftermath of another panic attack 
chasing out the fringe-steps worth in the days of uneasy purgatory 
& almost feels valiant
to have made it so far
out of bounds
as though
this were somewhere new
When you were young 
told yourself you'd find some way out 
& a man can become a country his own 
you weren't wrong about that
& the costs that were carried with separation? Nothing 
when held to spirit

the place that I was looking for might not exist at all
though never once 
even when they step into my dream 
or bind my wrist 
had I lost
when love denied
brothers crossed my path wrong
though temperance wavers 
parasites chew at me insides
it is all a song of self
& still on the porch
every night

looking down a gas station rose 
until the fall into wandering her velvety desert plains 
even in the constrained 
chitta
even in the calm
someone waits alone at night 

 

The potted plant 
such a lonely thing
consider this a request
When my work here is done 
put me in the ground 
a wicker basket 
don’t let them trap me here 
with embalmers or stuffing 
take me somewhere 
the blackberries grow wild
keep me friends full

 

[o-lordy
you give me something
this year,
I want Halloween ‘17 back.]