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He has

He has an ability to see
a continually vivid play and is
constantly surrounded by hosts
of spirits— he feels the urge to
transform himself into other bodies
and speak through them because
he can’t drive their natures out

Often times I walk with that stride
that says I know exactly what I want
Get out of here—
stop living in your head
That’s huckster country—
the blue rage in your veins
the tragic bleed in night air

when I stayed at the fair too long
Nothing good ever happens after 10pm
Go to bed then
“Yes, retirement is fine,” she says
“I don’t go out in the cold
or find myself with the shivers
on Riverside Drive

at 7 at night in winter”
“If you think because you’re
young there’s plenty of time,
think again” said the sage
We are who we love and
only the few you love
can show you your truth

The detour over narrow Italian
mountain roads, their precipitous drops,
in a bulky tour bus, roads made perfectly,
for horses—and you grasped my hand hard
and I made you laugh when I asked about
Karl (who we met at the airport
when meeting our tour, who was

on another tour like, but not, ours) a
retired, friendly, outgoing guy and I asked
you, deadpanned, “What would Karl do?”
Emotions contract, expand and drift
Would he grieve for the lives
he could have lived, forget and live on?
You say you love nature as

though nature loves you
After his star performance
I thought there would be all sorts
of people— admirers,  laughers, fine woman
but nothing—there he was eating
alone and so lonely
So I followed my gut

to that god-awful country
I could see, I could walk, I could
shoot—so I stayed at the fair too long
like some vulture who
thinks he’s an eagle
What we sold to them then was the
same lies we always sell

as oily as our dullest secrets
Did the music of the time express
the horror of the time?
“There’s no choice here, buddy—
When the shooting starts you
react or you won’t live to
have any grandchildren”

Grandpa took dad’s death hard
It wasn’t the way things were supposed
to be—new made leaves cracked dry,
changed colors and fell not in late Fall
but in the summer’s heat and years
later this insipid slick grass covers
the fields where so many of us died

 

 

-November 25, 2017-