March 30, 2016

the night had a reckoning feel






I had spent the night along the river 
after the benefit for a friend 
who died much too young 
I walked hours under 
the yellow sodium sorrow 
of the anti-crime street lights 
then camped out near these 
old coal chutes that used 
to feed the furnaces 
of this iron revolutionary place 
I could hear little laps and splashes 
of mighty tongued Hudson 
when the tides came in... 

do I know anything 
except that love 
at least in my hands 
rings hollow, especially 
when letting go of the life 
I've led here in the Ilium city...

will this be considered perhaps 
my greatest amounted nothing...maybe

my humanity can be had
at cost borrowing promise ever after 
find the shade merchants 
around the back of the barn
the rafters will be strung with 
the bones of those less fortunate than I 
to have never spied 
what falling completely once 
might have done to their 
perspective perisc-optic lives... 

I walk around corners now no eyes 
crawling faith's demise 
wearing powdered wigs inside 
a tea cup pony because this is my dream 
of need and repent...

I was born bent into America 
into a world that is an ever growing 
thirst with its blame policy mechanics 
of who and what side would 
thou be on if no winners were to be had 
at the end of this...

so I said to the cancer screen-ers 
no thank you I'd rather die here alone 
there is no home for the departed partitions 
and dropped ceiling tiles I've spent countless nights staring at 
pretending to count the holes therein...

who is a product of want whereas what 
only needs facts wrenched 
in written observations 
the anecdotes are
recorded as history 
and when they read my memoirs my words 
my poems I would hope some day they might say:

here was some one who cared 
about saving the world once 
then became irrevocably lost 
in his own land of disenchantment 
a broken man in mirrors and rusted toys 
bed springs and abandoned tires  
crumble piles of concrete and re-bar 
like little pill boxes to hide behind 
and shoot progress slipping back in...

need would never come looking for me I thought 
so I quickly covered myself in dust 
and disregard and blended in as best as I could 
a street urchin with lusty whispers 
meant to keep warm 
by any means necessary...


EJR ©

6 comments:

  1. did i already type in here somewhere that i freaking love Jitterbug Perfume? i'm not sure. sorry to put it in such an inappropriate space.

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    1. You did and are most welcome to mention anywhere you might want to...it is one of my favorite books...and as so much of it resonates with me, I like to hear references to its mythology whenever and wherever I can...grazie mille, uno che si muove anche le parole in modo così bello

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  2. This is my favorite part:
    "I walked hours under
    the yellow sodium sorrow"

    our sunder, whore sunder, whores under, hoarse undear, ours under, our sun dear; the yell "ow" sod, i um, saw roe/row/rue

    So for me, this is something like, "I walked hoarse, undear; the yellow sod (dye-yum) saw [a] row" ... as in, an argument. I think this is the answer. Taking walks alone, having screamed myself hoarse, feeling empty, depleted, and nothing but undear ... yet, finding companionship in the yellow grass, not seeing it as underwatered but as dyed, for my amusement and pleasure; turning something dead into something beautiful, just for me, when nowhere else in the universe is there anything that's just for me. But here, where the yellow grass grows-itself, for me alone, I find peace and rebirth ... and it's sweet and edible, and it loves me, even though it sees my "rows," my temper. I will take solace in this unseen grass, a meadow to which I must travel alone.

    And this has nothing to do with you or your poem, of course. But as you know, I'm always looking for those nuggets of truth and direction I'm meant to path toward.

    "then camped out near these" ... also, near the sea, near the see ... came-ped ... walking ... "out," exposed ... near, in ear

    I'm picturing myself camping out inside my own ear, listening for wisdom from the ocean, and also from my inner eyes ... Also, I think "outness" can be camped, put to bed, turned inward.

    "old coal chutes that used" ... old coal, cold oal, Lao(s) ... "a landlocked country in Southeast Asia" ... s/hoots that you said ... there's some owletry in here, some gunning, cunning, the next word hanging onto the tip of my tongue as it should remain

    "to feed the fern aces" ... some plants know how to grow, how to reach, stretch ... to feed themselves, even ... to feed themselves even

    "i/eye run rev-o-Lucian-airy plays" ... I am completely smitten with Lucious Lyon. (Empire came back on last night; it's my favorite.) ... also this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucian

    "Lucian claimed to be a native speaker of a 'barbarian tongue'" ... well that doesn't get me anywhere, apparently

    "He is noted for his witty and scoffing nature." ... nor does this

    This is what I want to be said of me, at the end of it all: "Few details of Lucian's life can be verified with any degree of accuracy."

    "extravagant cravings"
    "torches and s/quills" ... These are phrases from the same wiki article, and I think they should be written on my wall somewhere.

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  3. Back to your poem ...

    "I could hear little laps and splashes" This is another favorite line.

    "do I know anything" ... I think when you can answer "no" to this question, then you can learn ... or better yet, absorb, what the universe and its energies have to offer and reveal.

    I like this section a/s well:
    "rings hollow, especially
    when letting go of the life
    I've led here in the Ilium (ill, I um) city...
    will this be considered perhaps
    my greatest amounted (A, mounted) nothing...maybe"

    A is a scarlet letter, mounted on your wall ... a collection of women ... well, their heads, anyway; "this" will probably not be your greatest; the "maybe" tells us there are many more to collect before finding out which was the greatest of all ... or maybe A is for ass, and you're just talking about climbing atop one

    "my humanity can be had" ... what a great line; eaten, bought, tricked, taken ... regardless, you don't hold onto it very tightly ... promises of ever after are only borrowed, not kept

    I always see "Hades" inside of "shade" ... also "mer chants" inside of "merchants" ... these are mermaids, and where is hell if not in the depths of the ocean?

    rafters are people on little boats trying their hardest to get back to shore safely, but they are strung-wit ... strong witted ... thank goodness; perhaps they'll make it

    I like this section very much:
    "the bones of those less fortunate than I
    to have never sp/ied
    what falling completely once
    might have done to their
    perspective perisc(Paris sea, perish s/he, purr-risk)-optic lives" I think Sylvia Plath wrote this. (Her energy, anyway.) I don't know if it's good or bad to "fall completely once." If that's worth it for the eye to see. Probably, in retrospect. I think we need distance to understand and process and appreciate. When we're on top of something, we lose our magic; then it just becomes risk and purr eyes and tic(k)s. What was once so beautiful becomes harmful, I think. Lovely bones. Should be buried.

    "corner snow" ... I like that it might snow only at one corner of the street, yard, what-have-you ... or maybe it says, "I walk around corners, snow no eyes" and now you are God walking among us, NOT snowing eyes, not seeing, choosing not to see, not to know ... or do you snow eyes that say "no"? or "know"? Might God also be looking for knowledge, for answers?

    "crawling faith's dim eyes" ... this is beautiful; on one hand, this is spiritual; on another, Faith is a woman ... a dim woman; they're better, I think, dim women ... easier to manage, less trouble, simpler ... they make the world a happier place, a man a happier man

    "wearing powdered wigs inside" I love this line. You're the President. Of yourself, at least. But maybe no one recognizes it outside of you. I think we all feel this inn/ate desire to master and control our own bodies, lives, thoughts ... but the outside world wants to master us as well; hmm, I think this is why I will ultimately embrace Taoism ... just go ahead and give in, let myself be controlled, and in so doing, find freedom

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  4. I like this:
    "a tea cup pony because this is my dream
    of need and repent" ... How clever, the way you've layered this ... you're wearing powdered wigs inside of yourself ... but then again, you're wearing powdered wigs AND you're inside a tiny pony ... this makes me think you feel very small, and that you're playing dress-up ... pretending to be something cute and ride-able, something at a child's birthday party or a carnival (which doesn't sound like you at all; but still, it's what I see) ... but if it's your dream, and then also your dream of need and repent, maybe it means you feel like this is what you should be (doing) to make-up for being the opposite ... like, in the first line of that stanza, you're walking around corners making yourself NOT // look at the prostitutes, or the drug dealers. Also, "corners" is very close to "coroners." So maybe this is touching on trying not to look death in the face ... inevitably, a pony is connected to a bar (two kinds) being driven in circles, going nowhere, doing nothing it wants to do, just being told what to do, trapped; and you feel like this is your punishment, your hell

    I was
    born
    bent
    in-
    to
    A-
    mare-
    i-
    c-
    [y]a

    You feel "bent" inside, double minded ... the mare might be your mother, whom you've been trying to reconnect with via prostitutes and the like all your life

    "into a world that is an Eve, R-growing" ... what does R stand for? river, ruse, Rorschach, relegation, redux ... so many possibilities

    "thirst with its blame (be lame) pole-I-sigh (these are strippers) Mecca-nicks" ... the cuts you get from living this lifestyle

    what side wood ... I wonder what the two sides are ... for "wood" to choose between? Good and evil? Wife and whore? Or maybe it's a table ... so above and below; on top of, or in a drawer.

    "if no winners were to be had (tricked/taken in by clever-ness"; or used for sex) ... great line break, so thought provoking ...

    "there is no home for the departed parti/tions" I think I agree.

    I think it's telling that the tiles are dropped on you, rather than falling. It's not an accident; you feel like the universe is out to get you. But sometimes, attacks are the most influential teachers. I have to believe that, anyway.

    "memo/irs" ... I never noticed this split before. Also meme-o hers/hearse. Also me-mores (which means two things).

    "a broken man in mirrors and rusted toys" I love this line ... it reminds me of that movie, you know the one. Never mind. I can't grasp it. I didn't sleep for one second last night. But that's another story.

    "crumble piles of concrete and re-bar
    like little pill boxes to hide behind" ... I like this, but the next part makes me very sad for some reason.

    The last stanza is very powerful. Double meaning in "means," of course. Also "keep with arms," which also means two things.

    Certainly a couple of meanings here as well:
    "need would never come // looking for me, I thought"

    Also dis-regard, blended "in" ... this is sex. Covered myself in "stud" (to anagram this). Be-lended/lent/Lent. Besting people. Street-tour-chin. This is when you're taking a tour through girly town, the darker neighborhoods ... with your chin, if you know what I mean.

    loo-sty why-spurs ... This is when your eyes are full of sties (which you're examining in the bathroom mirror), and it really hurts, and you're just wondering why on earth you ever thought it was a good idea to wear spurs in the first place.

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    1. the swine wine spilled down spines tines ready in unseen but steady hands hunger in the shadows weights the curtains pulled back...good comments

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