Sunday, September 17, 2017

Once I was a 'prudent man of discretion' my lawyer friends often said. But hidden from the effete was the distemper of my soul. So I discredited their lies and stepped on their white shoes--hand stitched I assume. Like Walt Whitman admonished, I took to the Open Road.

I'm sure their heads turn, and their eyes roll when they are reminded of what I have become: a wayfarer, a wanderer, a traitor to their white shoes. They'd sue me for malpractice; indict me for malfeasance if they could. But  I'm hidden on the open road.

Everyday I walk one thousand miles.
This morn' I visited me as a child.
I returned to:
The freedom of the games we played
The Julys of our dreams
The happiness and the heartache
The joy and loss of boyhood dreams
The hikes we took through summer forests
And our trundled steps through December snow

As a 'prudent man of discretion,' I must say. I chose wisely to come this way. I've got a suitcase in my calloused hand. A heavy pack that knots my shoulder blades. My boots are resoled. My feet give me some pain. But not as much if I wore white shoes. Their leather is too thin, the treads too soft for the Open Road.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

I swam beneath a back alley and dived through a bar’s open door. I saw a drunkard’s face—his unkempt brows as wisps of grey; his eyes blackened and forlorn. Another lain on a hard floor. A boozy bile drowns a mouth—I hear a crazy silence mutter.  I see a life as empty as a bottle; a life peeled like a jagged label. It’s pieces swept by a whetted broom along the feet of old whores. I see their fishnet stockings…torn up the back of their failing thighs. I see their caked red lipstick; the desperate plea of falling eyes…their sagging spirits like sagging breasts…I see a woman's sorrow when marked men say no; and others offer the poverty of lies. The poet writes on a yellow pad. He is toothless and old…the pencil is dull; the eraser is worn. He watches drunken men and the aging of human wares. He is anonymous—his verse unread. At night sometimes he too mutters a crazy silence. On other nights he comforts a crying whore.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

I live with wildness,
like I was born inside a storm
as if I was raised by howling winds that bound me to wanting shores
I hear the call of those mother winds, her native son must return
With frost beneath my feet,
I walk carefully as if I was newly born, wailing to a storm;
They may tell stories about my return--or lie about my demise;
But I am home-- never to leave these wanting shores

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I walk past an open window;
I hear her coo like a morning dove
My lips will not touch this willing temptress;
nor step back to hold her love

My destiny is the distance,
The road a lengthy romance
An openness beholds me, even as trails are narrow and forlorn.
On dusty days I thirst for rain
Under muddy skies I drown alone
When l close a country window, I hear no morning dove
And to answer Dylan muses: I’ve not visited those Northern Fairs;
nor felt winds blow heavy along their borderlines
But my destiny is the distance,
And my romance is not there
Tomorrow is an open window
I’ll hear the wail of a winter dove

--- Girl From the North Country
by Bob Dylan
Sung by Eddie Vedder

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Side to Side
When I was an anxious boy sometimes I would walk along an ocean's edge and watch crashing tides twist and rise with an evening sky. The woman drenched in wisdom said I had to quiet my ebbing mind; that craziness was like sleeping under a lion's bridge. You can't feel anything but a torn, maddening roar. She broke into laughter and then wailing tears. I watched her disappearing footsteps move side to side along the shallow ocean floor and I knew I had met a wise but drowning stranger. And ever since my grateful mind has been peaceful. Though at times I go to the ocean's edge and listen to it's roar. Like a sailor who chased a great whale.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Kafka at Night
I rolled a snake-eyed reptile in the made-up cage of my mind. It's  cobra tongue slithered; it's tail coiled; it's head erected; it's eyes beading on me; it's razor venomous fangs tearing at my flesh in a twisting primal rage. The poison coursing through my veins; my dying breaths; the last beats of my mortal heart. That hidden corridor. Those reptile dice. This hallucinatory terror of the night. I awake in sweat. Relieved in the remnant of sanity for one more morn'. I dress. Put on my hat. I have no name. Only a desk. A small light. An endless task with no end. No meaning. A large room with nameless men. Each with an endless task. I wonder: Do they dream of poison? Do snake eyes visit them in the night?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Ward
Old boxers have sad faces.
I saw it in their passing eyes as I watched YouTube videos of hunted men in tattered robes. Was there hunger enough in their belly for one more meal? One more steak? To fight for a warm bed. To awake without the blinding headaches they knew would someday come. A concussed fury. The descent into a dementia born by the rage of too many EverLasting fists. The Endswell to their broken brains. The final count in a homeless shelter. The final count in a locked back ward of a city hospital where no other crazy man believes any more. Where their only glory is the fading flurry of punches against bare white walls. This is where they fall. Where the motherless boxer dies. Those forgotten, nameless men who are buried with their half-clenched fists. 
...Their hospital robes-- cleaned, pressed, sanitized-- passed from the dead to the dying who box against the shadows of sadness.