January 14, 2012

poem 14 of a poem a day for 2012

I was dizzy and read the map upside down

sleepy clicks,snaking speed
night blurs distances in the
clacks along the slight film
of cool on the glass

Rome at 85 F at midnight in August
is a place where memory smells
every molecule that has ever walked into your nose
you know those feral cats can smell you too
I think to myself layering in the patina
of thousands of years of
crossroad frenzy in smooth
stone,fountain and
the mad gladiatorial
driving of cars

waiting for the train,fading
10 miles of walking
bread,nutella and wine
finding out
that time would lose
it's footing here
if it weren't
for the trains
and sure enough
right on schedule
at 1:00 am
my passport stamped
to Innsbruck we go

I should have known
when I saw the Austrian conductor
gloves,hat,long coat
that heat and humidity helped haze
a miscalculation
a fuck,damn fool again moment
as the white glare
of Sun and snow cut my eyes
and I realized
my shortsleeves and bermudas
were woefully inadequate
for being outside

and I muttered something....
it's a terrible thing to make drunk
decisions about destinations...Edward

at night with a pocket full of dream
and no where else to go
but further into the moment
further into this crazy idea of
seeing a childhood memory
of Olympics on grainy television
further along this line of thoughts fed
eventually through swirls of wine

if only I'd thought it through,further

I might have known to go
to Barcelona instead

EJR (c)


  1. There is such a visceral feel to this poem. Having spent plenty of time in Rome I can just feel the zipping cars and smell the heat and ancient brick around the Colosseum. Gorgeous work!

  2. I tried to juxtapose the capitulate slow of how I felt my humanity, was worn with time here, against the frenzied strive of modernity, while waiting for the train in a stiflingly humid Roman night, with both hands behind my back...using a more plain language than I would normally comfort myself with...appreciate your comment...thank you so much...!