a sample of this story

That was the town where the houses loomed precariously right up to the road, a high speed ribbon with loud tractor trailers blazing by every morning, coked up truck drivers or maybe the reds of yesteryear, maybe just meth, the only shortcut through those spread out and slow moving towns.  Some of the driveways were so short that they were only big enough to fit a compact car tucked right between the front door and the asphalt, the back tires barely out of the road with no sidewalk scrolls to speak of.  When I was younger we would walk one part of the road after skinny dipping in the woodland lake behind the baseball field, dark hair dripping down sun streaked bodies, and it’s a miracle we didn’t get hit.  Later we found out that the water was polluted from leaky sewage, literal shit.  

We went to the ayahuasca church like everyone did in that decade.  It appealed to repressed recovering Roman Catholics like myself.  The Mary statue at the bottom of the hill held a miracle that was softer, and both of us knew it but neither spoke of it.

I lived in a high house as wide as a Soviet block, the building smelled of many different colored molds, but was painted an assortment of pastels like an Easter egg.  This was common practice in that town, a mix of elderly hippies and also some college kids who had majored in liberal arts like I had, they came here to die.  The street was littered with decent ideas which had never manifested for whatever reason, too soon or too late, too small or too great.  

There was the community apothecary where I had helped clear space for a garden and performance space out back the summer before, a rare moment of volunteering my time, unless you count listening to people talk about their problems.  I lugged sharp branches and weed tornadoes out on my bony shoulders, feeling prouder than the brief exercise really called for.  But that’s the way it was in that town.  Doing anything, you felt pretty useful, as anyone could easily get high and watch television for hours, a habit I never got into, the latter I mean, not the former.  Most of my life I was high, I just changed how I did it, and for many years it was only on mania and some sort of gripping spirit fever that tended to affect the females on my father’s side.  

April is aggressive, showing off too soon, pretending to be willing when she’s really still cold to her core.  She smacks you with wind and sheets of endless rain.  Sends patches of sunlight out to fool you into showing her your thin, pale skin, almost blue on the bottom, the rivers that keep you wanting to move.  You shiver with your face tilted up to the fiery ball so far off and (as though) alive.  But you’re the one who’s really alive, the one with the pinpricks and sharps in your belly, the constant sharps in your heart.  Anything dried out and dead can be set on fire to curl up and out into a quick burst of light.

I’d already spent a year or three as a comet, my darting mind would travel down any charged pathway it found, and every path was charged in those days, I was in love with anything and everything, even my fear, especially that.  When I was a comet I thought I could solve a thing by thinking about it, I would heat up the circuits too hot and every few days or weeks a regular meltdown would happen, and on those days nothing I said would make sense, so I’d try very hard to stay as quiet as possible.  The ways I flew were sometimes horizontal, when connections were still helpful and logic could still be called upon when needed, but mostly vertical and straight up through the roof.  My heart would get to pounding, time began to tighten up, inflamed and red as something running from death.

Continue reading “a sample of this story”

his tawny listening at the water’s edge, shy antlers in pooling green light

 Magnitude and Bond Nicole Terez Dutton
More than anything, I need this boy
so close to my ears, his questions
electric as honeybees in an acreage
of goldenrod and aster. And time where
we are, slow sugar in the veins
of white pine, rubbery mushrooms
cloistered at their feet. His tawny
listening at the water’s edge, shy
antlers in pooling green light, while
we consider fox prints etched in clay.
I need little black boys to be able to be
little black boys, whole salt water galaxies
in cotton and loudness—not fixed
in stunned suspension, episodes on hot
asphalt, waiting in the dazzling absence
of apology. I need this kid to stay mighty
and coltish, thundering alongside
other black kids, their wrestle and whoop,
the brightness of it—I need for the world
to bear it. And until it will, may the trees
kneel closer, while we sit in mineral hush,
together. May the boy whose dark eyes
are an echo of my father’s dark eyes,
and his father’s dark eyes, reach
with cupped hands into the braided
current. The boy, restless and lanky, the boy
for whom each moment endlessly opens,
for the attention he invests in the beetle’s
lacquered armor, each furrowed seed
or heartbeat, the boy who once told me
the world gives you second chances, the boy
tugging my arm, saying look, saying now.

i will wade out till my thighs are steeped in burning flowers

Crepuscule
ee cummings

I will wade out
till my thighs are steeped in burn-
ing flowers
I will take the sun in my mouth
and leap into the ripe air
Alive
with closed eyes
to dash against darkness
in the sleeping curves of my
body
Shall enter fingers of smooth mastery
with chasteness of sea-girls
Will I complete the mystery
of my flesh
I will rise
After a thousand years
lipping
flowers
And set my teeth in the silver of the moon