There's something young in a man that tells him to struggle.
Something thousands of years behind them that maybe their grandfathers knew the shape of on their last days.
Try to be saintly in your execution.
Tell yourself not to sleep with low women no matter the cold of December,
& they only come back around when I'm at my weakest anyhow.
Stuff clove in the hollows of teeth,
Chew Solomon's seal & work it into the tendon.
Fall back to vacant comforts, shallow nights,
burn a few hours in the hollow of the room.
We sabotage ourselves like rogue elements on our worst days-
innumerable mistakes ticked into pocket notebooks mark the passage of time,
pray the memory can serve in some way, carry us to some form of resolution should God have it.
Julia called it back when I was 15.
Maybe certain moments are meant to roost,
meant to sit with aperture open until the whole of it has been turned over,
maybe not until every angle is inspected can some things rest.
If I were hungry for it ( & I surely can be )
I may find purpose there in holding the truth of things as a whole.
"Why don't you pull the trigger"
she asks in the hollow of apartment five,
after the landlord got everyone out, before he got us out,
before she could know me so well,
before she was my sister.
Years before I would recognize the mythology set into motion that I worked under order of.
I was my fathers son, born to tame the fire in my gut,
Born to be born again a few thousand 'til I light my own fires.
Tie up the dog at the birth of agriculture & he buries her out in a field by the shed,
with a nice stone to mark the spot.
Called me that day, asked for one next to her.
Learn forgiveness like breathe to dry lungs when he goes out,
this is an advantage that I hold over other men in these times.
Despite any trouble hereon there is something unwavering, eternal, sitting in the back row.
I've learned a stillness there that carries the spirit through troubles gracefully.
It was there with me on the 26 way back when I'd run triples just to see a friend.
There in the Twilight of morning with a runny nose in the cracking frames of Midwestern youth playing romantic with women I'd chase for years,
on nights of lucidity it appeared not them but something they'd learned I had not.
Maybe carried something that had been stripped before this world fell below my feet.
There in the throws of memory the passing hours turn restlessly.
Here where the water hyssop creeps timidly up the wake.
Pops & I sit on the bench in the aftermath,
he's lost a brother, the wounds are fresh & our roles even out a minute.
All the worst parts
Of my father
Came for him
In a systemic outburst of cancer.
It's easier to tell myself I did what I could, body put up it's fight,
what closure is lacking I'll get from the writer.
It's tragic when a man is lost to his heart confronting the temporal.
All the worst parts
of pops kin,
sunk their hooks
into his goodness
until it became too heavy.
Here at the shore of the eternal two young men with hands scraped bare
& bite of cold on skin turned a cracked pale sit one January afternoon.
Show palm to the universe, hope it spare me any tremble this run.
When Lance died I was blessed with a new forgiveness that I needed to carry close to myself then,
Pops loss teach him a freedom from shame & I can see a florid warmth upon him now
we both live to sit here on the bench
where we met so long ago,
(where one day we will mark another notch for time passed & again & again)
& we laugh a hearty one
for how we could have used those things
At peace with the world these days & shit,
the flick of a cigarette flares an arc before sinking into the gone.
The half-light sets in, the moon comes back 'round
I step down road from the cafe
& the days all mesh together like snowfall,
pass by like 26 in a downpour
but somewhere buried between long hours
you pull a locke of hair out front of each ear
& wear my mommas mink on the couch
& when I tell you I love you in the parking lot
I tell you twice & say your name three times just to get a point across.
Could pass a lifetime by in moments like these.
Moments like these defy myself,
could almost lose track of inhibition
if i could channel my brother
only a moment
to tell you straight.
Almost hit the street with the duffel last night
Spotlight scan 'cross 1400
crown vics down on the corner
chargers on the fly
cast off all my worst parts
with divinations on tongue
& you wouldn't like me
so rough around the edges
& should morning come
walk out of this place with my hands in the sky
If I don't make out soon you may bury me in it.
can't gold rush forever,
spirit sing true but I've been pushing limits
& I know what it feels like
when your luck runs dry.
The children of the Midwest find God in alleyways,
corner lots, social status, heavy hearts, cigarettes,
sorrow on their sleeves like commendation.
In refusal of gregorian historics, in absence of divine meaning,
wonder at the empty hands they look down to.
I can see the passing of time all flayed out cross an unkempt mattress with that hungry grin creeping up.
I can see how tilling soil shape gaia barren.
I can see how the observation of electrons affects whether they travel as waves or matter. (Maybe I can't)
With scope, the mythology of ones life is determined by their willingness to observe its formation,
both in its idiosyncratic and its peculiarity.
Nature leans towards balance & I plant water hyssop in the marsh by my bedroom window,
When the blows are successive the knock ain't so hard-
but I thank the gods their dues,
there are few pains
that we can't
draw lines on
there was more
to that stone
than I let on
& In my childs mind them trees by the river
a wide forestry-
unfolding like paper machet in a flurry of dramatics
with the echoing boom of a storm turning in the distance.
Some things don't materialize
how we'd expect
and I'm only the sound of a storm
& some memory of trees
in my calm
but time allows for a certain element of decay to take hold
& a vague brush becomes jungle
& this winter a tundra
these nights shoes full of snow,
& that sorry romp down 30th from the platform 'cross the pre-release facility becomes something spiritual
& these nights of solemnity can be a wondrous thing if you take it right
& on the bench that day I ask pops counsel,
he tell me being alone only bear weight on the heart with time, it comes no less jarring each night.
No matter your hands, no matter the losses underbelt the future hits with no bias
& my youth tell me to test the fallacy I live by, try to prove him wrong
& my youth tell me to trust in his word
& he tell me what they always tell me,
what Julia told me just a floor up from where we sit some six years past.
It's a bad idea
to build ideas of people
in their absence
You take the form
of something wholly divine
with yellow blossom
from my perspective
Blue specks dash golden petal
on the low crawlers
dried out petals speck the dash
of the Toyota in a parkinglot somewhere (where I)
keep a soft spot for ya
& all the women ever got in your way
keep rocks in my pockets
& prayer under breath.
They shift from barbed dismissals
to teaching me how to breathe right
I tell him I love him
because I always have
he's just ready to be my brother
& I can't
hold no guard
he stuffs rocks in my pockets
& I fret with the writer
Through the night
Trying to wake up
only tell myself I forgot
& tell myself Ill be
new again too
if I could just step away
from the table.
The Nino can be a harsh bitch if you let her treat ya how she will,
try not let it 'neath the skin
& I'm out on the roof of the parking garage letting off shots at the moon again
& in the morning I drink last nights Pinot
& that's not my style but lucks off & she still hangs in the sky to this day.
When spirit comes to the game with short pockets
the greatest woman I've ever known still hangs me on the walls
& those men who held lenses to me take me into their hearts
& in the aftermath of all the choices lead you can map out cohesion no matter our roundabout,
yet the moons something special tonight so let me free of those concerns
& live the blanket warmth that fell upon Cleveland this morning-
so joyous that garbage sprouts from the sidewalks like odd flowers,
that you can taste sulfur in the air,
that even now in the dark you can hear the carts wheels creek,
see the scrap glinting along in Lunas’ glow down road.
Place your bets then,
when all charms run dry
& cards bear symbols unfamiliar,
when tides have eaten the last known shores, gods lie fallow under rotten oak
& only strange birds come around to keep your company.
Draw cards in threes, dip your hand in the well and feel for chips.
When human intervention whittle you bare,
take your shot then & give it whatever you can scrape from the pan.
(Am I blue light that keep you through dusk or only inclination toward dawn.)