April 5, 2016

our Persephone was pregnant again...sprang this time from inside the clay and iron hills in a rose vaporous synthetic vignette: an old tale of drinking lots of water and having no panic when the mushrooms were organic or picked yourself #NaPoWriMo2016 six


'Edith, Newtown' (Pennsylvania) 1974
Gelatin silver print © by Emmet Gowin,
courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York




focus came from fade away noise 
I was in the District of Columbia 
I remember going to the 
public library basement 
no air conditioning but 
it was cool enough for me...
there was this small tv on sound off 
in the corner janitorial supply closet 

it was next to where 
a makeshift receptionist desk 
had been arranged...everyone is 
out playing in the hydrant sprays on 
account of it being so hot...
what brings you down here...I didn't 
answer at first looking at her 
mid sixties get up complete 
with librarian chain around her neck 
attached to her glasses in 
which she looked up over the top of 
at me as I stared back while wondering 
why on the tv there were ministers at the Orioles 
baseball game on this oppressively hot July day 

they/we/wore/sore/core black robes 
like jurists of old and both 
their wigs slipped off slid sled chute 
coal powder wigs matted 
hair poultry oil poetry boils 
from wear and before I knew 
what was happening I was one 
of those kids in the tv 
looking at these ministers 
like they were billy dee williams 
and james brown from a movie 
I remember seeing when I was young 
Black Caesar or something like that...

I could have swore I kept hearing people talk
they would keep talking over the movie 
soon enough I began to-waver-real-eye-size 
for a moment, I have been outside 
this whole time dying 
of heat stroke when people found me 
in and out of consciousness 
trying to find shady Hades 
under a bench...

I was baseball card-ish-imp
on a bicycle tire spoke-n limb
broken spooked by proximity 
to ways shadows and lights 
are strewn about fleet daggers 
scabbards fleeing, fast food wrappers 
and empty beer cans 
trailing all around me 
as if I was part 
of some re-entry 
remnant artistry 
quick sand to mouth gluttony 
after a score...
and I could've swore  
I heard someone 
from the movie 
breaking the fourth wall
and talking back to me 
saying things like...

"...this poor man asleep 
failed to catch his dream 

'cause all he does now 
is rest with his fates, 
who're likely reading 
his tea leaves bleeding 
hoping he's not late 
for dinner and sate 
as he heard the call
go light the lanterns 

      /p\/a\/u\/s\/e\
      /l\/o\/o\/k\
          /a\/t\
/a\/u\/d\/i\/e\/n\/c\/e\

with what wicked to love can sing..."


I hear glad handed baggie 
lunch paper brown discovery  
crinkle sounds reach waxy wane 
explaining to the audience 
with allegory and symbols 
just how being stuck 
inside the picket spice 
soul will get in 
trouble sometimes...

the sirens whine claw 
it smells of bandages 
they're wrapping me 
in this cool blanket 
rhythm and ride for life they say 
living to hide the leather parts of your smile 
will invite death much more quickly...

because whether finality 
or wound to heal 
some days the lesson 
is cast iron 
scrubbed with sea salt 
while on other days 
it's just the way 
the Sun drips 
off the lashes 
of a girl 
inside your mind 
climbing out 
from the woods 
and looking 
for you again...


EJR ©

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