by W. Jude Aher
I do sit here so far above, never just ice and concrete, trying how hard not to see why. My feet straining at rest as they lean out toward the edge, some six stories up. My eyes long for a dream in vague touch to a river raging almost unseen through the broken fall of concrete and glass buildings. Catching a glimpse of moving water and frozen trees, lying lost between my crouched knees. And death in somewhat more then verbal terms whispers still long to somewhere deep beneath the flesh edge of my breath. How easy is it to catch these six stories in fall.
Where is the reason which is supposed to hold my eyes as solid as the concrete onto which my feet wish to fall. My hands clutch onto one another about a ring carving silver to design. And my mind pushes the image of its form into a tar black void, meaningless or forgotten. I pull this old coat tighter as the wind begins still again to blow, reaching fingers of blue ice in; to grab hold of such is a name might call my soul. And a world crossed by time with no where to go?
Tears don't fall from my eyes, yet have they ever quite really found their way out. What world without an inch of doubt, and today death in its strange memory of tomorrow, or a strangers memory. Another poem lies unfinished so close to fingers growing numb. There lined white so void of color or rhyme, in a form that is all color. Somewhat later I hear the echo of my pens fall, long into the light of dusk, gray on a dark day. Where I feel something left to say, an echo never returns from walls of carved ice.
I almost remember someone saying to return to time, back, breaking back to where nothing remains but for illusive memory stains. And death rains the world free. What mirror calling no image back into me, nothing ever to see from anymore. Is it the pain, this silent haunting pain, in all its nameless form, which breaks a storm, touching onto something I can't quite seem to be. I yearn hard for the darkness which I know to soon will fall out through the sky. A lighted gray city blackness in time to a shadows moving stance. Just a half of a foot to reach myself over into death. And how easily such is this name in its passing through the silence that dreams across my lips. Would its rage hit me before I hit concrete, or would the stage pass as easily by till I am nothing but a short illusion of broken flesh In blood, dying in red. The wind cries freedom, but do I still hold onto its name?
Sliver cuts against my flesh as my hands refuse to release themselves. But what do I feel. I find her presence close nearby, tired but still alive on a smooth wooden cross of love in touch with me. But why this empty scream when I do reach out inside to touch her warm. A naked poem raped into the sky by the wind, nothing left to begin or maybe finish. Her breast is as breath in pulse upon my skin, something sweeps time almost away. As a flaked crystal mirror, so fly paper fly, morning is the deepest depth of midnight, and such, flakes of light or white, are but moon dust illusions. So rational, to rational till what is really left to mean. Her eyes jump as I stare deep into hers, and I seem to touch so easily. Her fingers reach their grasp hard upon mine and I find their beauty in the warmth of her greed. A seagull dips behind a building never to rise again. For me to sit and almost wonder into the empty where, of where its trail has led. Has frozen water on a rivers open edge given a warmer appeal then the ice and wind of which is its life.
And still I feel or believe so to feel out towards yesterday, where I know illusion is a full name. For a Lingering of good-byes is the only question of pain that can ever remain. A hand so full lying so empty forever open across my naked chest. And my breath still rises and falls calling me still alive. Is there anything left to die, as I try for this edge six stories above breaking concrete. I cough as I almost forget to breathe but still have not moved even an inch across this new York City rooftop. Am I a circle which has began so far ago? Looking for all the faces I could never even remember. Which way is tomorrow, please. I yearn to break my soul out across my knees, and throw these empty pieces out to that non-caring wind. For reason not to begin.
Still waking from the morning, a dreamless morning tripping over my eyes as they try to open. Watching still walls remain still, and nothing standing so close to edge of that room, its hands in its pockets leaning easily within a doorway. I have something to say standing on the edge of my memory, but nothing speaks or is it me. A radio I. had forgotten was on playing like water wings playing past my ears onto a memory I should still feel, a song rides into me. White birds and its never spring. And the song much to quickly fades away while a mature Jazz-Rock form begins my day. Jobless, but have I really ever cared, it has happened before. What fools that they pay me just as well. Nowhere to dwell on a meaningless lack of justice. Just no there to run.
I don't feel that I'm regressing, as I seem to notice the wind quieting down. I'm too still, timelessly reaching for the face of nothing, that might he or she be the reach I need to lean myself into that six-story fall. What empty call demands I fight my stillness here before what empty whys for death. With yesterday such an empty game. As all what psychologists so easily disbelieve. I receive just my name alone upon itself. Give him reason that we might say good- bye. What reason has ever held to any good by have I ever heard spoken out from my lips. It is the sips of tomorrow who hold me so still from the edge I yearn, is it. Are my hands too big to fall at rest in my pockets any more, or is it the dream of pockets to wake from their nowhere torn.
A sister is dead with her hands still smiling, though somewhat harder then before. An empty figure dressed in a patchwork of rags, her color tags eternally unseen. Could they ever know what did she mean, sketching a dream on an open pad of empty paper, a naked woman mating with a bird form with eyes never torn there on the lawn of Kent State, amid children in riot form shedding tears over the murdered forms of children they knew. And their parents never quite waiting so far away with nothing to say. Could they ever know what did she mean, her body lying broken and torn, easily raped into death on a Mew York City street, cold and damp. A pad of worn white paper open to a page where naked feet almost seem to dance and still a bird flies through a cloudless sky. And her black bound journal, which has come to me. No tears staining its pages as I red read and placed it deep in the back of a drawer. She was just a soul with something to say, something more then good by and hey. A book where even her friends wouldn't stay. Silence living in the back of a desk drawer.
Could I ever know what I did mean!
Staring into an oil torn painting of a woman carrying a child, warm in her arms and dead. With nothing else said there alone on a wall across from me, how far across. And how long has it been since I have found my poems writing of Love or even hate. Just the form of concrete and steel screams, where flesh bends and breaks and no one stands near by to know what it means. I seen to know what I mean and yet? This concrete holds such a warm appeal, while the wind again begins to stir. My fingers again reach for their pockets, forgetting something they meant to hold,
A cup of tea warm in the grasp of my hands, unsipped yet still held. And I stare for or into nothing, moments untasted. Still or was it really as they hope me to say, so long ago. Yesterday in sand, my fingertips hold no command but for the drift I've called to scream my fingerprints into the wind, cold as is tomorrow where might I only begin. And tomorrow has come from every yesterday I have found named fast across mine. Who is time chasing along side of me. Today a bubbe of ice and mirror wrapes me, wrapes me sound till I can hardly move. Icy fingers reach down to touch frozen tar beside me, reaching towards? Have I lost tomorrow and yesterday, have I stepped to deep into a black sand that pays heed to no wind, or is there something I'm afraid begin. So rational, I watch what try to reason sanity into concrete tablet form. I regress. I begin, I swim yes somewhat afrain of Time. Oh, those empty lines that call us into long lived nothingness.
A mothers pills, and hour young was I as I dreamed of my first good by. Was it but an empty try or was it as I believed but a birth. All in a dream to run, never quite from and maybe never quite to either. Was it to move or die, to be swallowed in all the empty death that stood my whole life at rest, at rest from a yesterday that stood as a name carved into my hairless chest, a name I could never quite stand along side. To what dared I say good by. To sit as a child never born, staring at walls covered with bits and pictures all nameless but with something to say. Those pills I had seemed to talk to in the name of, was it death or all the rest. What quest is it in a child who yearns to even taste a birth he can believe in. They call you young man and they call you el-14 child. Sex was a hold into tomorrow I was not quite ready to name or was it to blame. Torn black jeans and naked feet held my hands as they couldn't shake quite enough to please the man who didn' seem allowed anymore to believe in the child. The quiet was pleasing with clocks ticking unheard across the room. The bottle opened easily by fingers still lost in thou_;ht, for all the nothin;t,s that might be wrought. It was on the lips of nothing sought that I couldn't quite seem to take in enough air by which to swallow those pills.
Where could I want to be when Nothing was the only name I could find to see. Or I slipped for a moment noticing the hour of the clock growing late. I could not bear to be found by voided eyes plying the empty spacing of my soul with illusion, for I had not yet come to believe in illusion. For maybe I had come to believe in nothing. So sweet was that name of death that the child wanted to cry, though he didn't as what namelwss man raged birth and all the empty tries yet to turn. So rationally were the pills someones mothers' pills returned as to appear untouched. No child game was now a pain glowing hard and vaguely lost back within me. Back on a slide of fourteen years somehow lost to me forever. Where was the visions of even one year past. Something made a child cry alone against the curve of a wall so small and past, or so they said I cried. But that day began drifting, towards or away if either distinction it real. Something that I began to feel or from where, what eternal aloneness was the push of my drift. Touched so hard, and somehow in that shadowed dying day I was touched not quite any more.
Somewhere long inside on a voice of sight did my memory decide for me. Were those pills really naming memory on which my soul could say good-bye to my life. A memory that was something more then just an etchng in my mind, was it a find I had been too young to see or meet to be? What vague voice did I reach inside for. Why was death such a close name comming seemingly from nowhere. Or where?
There was a hospital room with three beds. And one was empty, lying there between me and who. What was it someone had told me. An old man always quiet and usually alone. Yes alone I also seemed to be. I felt no fear and yet I felt no time to smile. The days were simple as I lied there doing little or was I wandering, somehow free. Someone had said that I had just missed dying so why didn't it seem to touch me there whre ever I was. People stood around that man, how late was it that night all whispering stupid words with that old man just staring on nothing left to say. And in the morningr, a morning and he wasn't there any more. What silence could I hear as my sight went black with something there and nothing comming back.
Someone came to visit that hospital or was it me. Was I still a child, if so I guess they were too. It seemed strange for someone to remember me when I didn't seem to remember being anywhere to be quite remembered. So far was I between days back then or is it back here, maybe not. I couldn't have died as I couldn't remember meeting the name of death. And I knew or even know nothing of all the rest, back or beyond to the birth, they say I was born and I'm here to prove it, to the birth I never seemed to notice.
What drift do I try to hold hard onto a line I came to name as me. A line on which a begining I have never found marked, just typed onto a bottle of pills?
I had ignored the guitar I had never quite gotten around to buying, so why that strange compulsion to cram words into the form of a poem. What was there trying to be said. They were just love poems to a Mad Passionate. What more always more was I trying to say. Two lines and a simple rhymne. I could see a child and so why try to believe in a woman yet born. Just a man so tied into the figure of a child. A figure I was trying to leave? For who leaves a child alone, that might he too easily starve. All those empty foods I, did I try so hard not to eat. Endless rhymnes written for someone or was it for her to find. In a folder untied once a week must they have lied or died. And still facing into something approaching a woman I wrote more compulsive then had I begun. Noticing how little of the demands my soul was reaching onto any name I dared to name on what was blank paper. Reaching suddenly how hard just of myself into the eternal rages of a poem and something more tearing through the carvings of my fingerprints.
Her eyes must have turned away when it was now just a man or something more she faced. I could feel the ache in her body to be not just touched but reached. But I found her not there below me as I turned over onto her. Were her eyes only waiting. Have I come only to be waiting, lookin- down into a poem I kept knowing she wouldn't want it. Offering something more then a man and nothing less. On what quest did I chase her from my side somehow still a virgin and afraid of any words adrift in my eyes.
How long had I known that she needed to say good-bye. Or did she. On something she wanted and what could I hear. Years of touch and almost touching me hard. Yes silence lied across her lips, a kiss who drifted too far, and maybe for a small piece of a second drifted too close, I wiped my poems from her hand. How free did this make her. Free to be, or was it not to be. To what could a woman need, to be free from the seeds of her reaching soul and tears. What years never to be born, torn by my fingers or her eyes. I say good by walking alone down a street light and tree shadowed street of eternal concrete. What pain is a turn of birth, or illusion I name for myself. Though in illusion I couldn't believe.
Tears on a wind I was runnin- alonside. Can one trade their soul for freedom, or was it really the glow of not being too alone.
There was a joint blowin? smoke into my lungs. And while something seemed to slow nothing seemed really to change. I sat in a corner of a park I had once known so well. A soft ball game was just ending, with people I seemed to know going home, with little to the stage of having won or lost. And still I remained waiting for a pill I had dropped to work. Acid and ray fingers were just begining to grow warm. There was nothing to the name of being alone but for me. A basketball game was being played in the corner of my eye. She stood on the edge of a crowd and suddenly I knew her to well. Someone wanted to go over to dust to say hello. Lights began a slow rise to come on while night fought for another side as darkness slides. And I never moved out towards her, watching her noticing me in her own silence and never turning into her fear of hello. On Good-byes never broken into the wind. I barely noticed, though I did, as she left my eyes through that park and a crowd of people I wouldn't care to know for a last time. I sat that bench alone till the night was complete and the park had emptied.
Alone on a baseball field late into the night, I sat with the sky trying on I believed nothing. Without eyes seeing me, was it the Acid or the sky or me. A mirror made of sky without me, and a rake to meet a voice I couldn't quits see beyond the light of pitch black and night. Still a last poem written in sand, knowing the wind would blow it hard and fast away once I moved on. Leaving nothing to linger on. I tried to touch her eyes and smile to her no pain for a Good by. Was it her in that passing car touching me with a smile, something touched into life free on the wind? Silent pain with no where to belong.
With a finger clutched hard into my hand I saw a running through that park, hard running through those gates. A passing police car slowed down but had nothing to say. And I was running leaving wide open gates yawning too ouch to themselves. Running into the shadows of trees and concrete. I stopped much to still and on the edge of a forever of fine nowheres. A poem for no one or maybe anyone began crying for paper and as quickly was quiet. Breathing its piece upon silence to remain. I walked between silence and a run with not here to be, Something drifting how here with me. Was it the acid, was it me: Tomorrow lived onto the edge of my fingers and the sand was all blown away scraping my naked toes in the process, somewhere deeper and a smile touched and passing. Still running through un marked shadows.
What comming night wind tries hard to rip an unspoken tear and its years from the flesh of an eye. Down six stories and shatters a frozen tear.
How vague and how ever close was ever the name of Viet Nam. An un named war Calling me out towards my eighteenth birthday and a name bf death I refused to meet. Though I didn't need to believe in what had been felt. Children were dying just beyond the edges of all my fingers, In a war for a reason never quite expressed. Pasted cotton and black paper covered my windows and murder was a game I could never learn. Who was I that a God by was spoken clearly by name, clearly unthought into a world of voices playing such a game of never or too Real. To scream a try into the world not yet adrift on the wondering of why. Young and growing old as to few dared to believe under what right
one dare to try against anyone.
Even her good-by seemed ignored on what moments as my eyes raged against that death blowing name. Or never quite. Illusion is the game they demanded of me to play. Sweet thear-ter of the Absurd.
My hair grew its length long in an irish rage on an answer to a question hard adrift in the air. Dressed in a long black cape I marched the crowds always off to the side in a stance alone but in full answering stance all the same. And who ever really wondered why, afraid to enter the shadows I found and called mine. For what quite could a man alone call to a world, when a child alone could seen only to die. What alone trys would only I die for.
And Acid dripping from my fingers, how often painted the stage, laughed with me at the rage held never too deep within.
It was a party of masks which narkes the stage in celebration to a day in which souls were traditionally sold off to death and evil names. I arrived along with others and all but in name off still off alone. I sat cornered off against a wall my black cape still draped back down my shoulders. My books of written and unwritten poems open in my lap which seemed to become my eternal case as time drifted me forever by. My pupils were enlarged as my mind became engaged tith insanity, sweet insanity. A pounding upon the wall and a call to feet, as there enters an amgla angel with bent wings. There was no wind on which she could fly, and my head nodded as my open eyes returned to their poems. Through clouds of earth named smoke and candled bottles of wine, voices behind masks of light, full grown children played for what might never be the same. More knocks upon the wall and then another. She was an untried dancers form, dressed as a strawberry untorn, worn only by herself. A poem rode oft my lap finished.
The unsought compulsion to move or was it seeing this almost woman across a touch she still held out to me. Or was it a touch she still held out to me, unsought or unthought. I was playing on a field of ice alone and for the first time. The wind was adrift on long glides from place to place. I knew her face but never cared and never quite stared to see what the child dreamed to be. When our hands came grazing the air close we seemed to meet. Unspoken in time, there was nothing more then a simple find and a drift together over ice and wind. Then night was later and we had left the ice once or twice not looking back. Someone was waiting for us and we never came. Holding her and someone seemed to belong, maybe. There was a woman ready to love in that child’s eyes. There were tries held deep inside as I kissed her long till the wind seemed to blow us warn. I kissed her long but it was time for the child to carry home the woman, and something was unseen and torn as I walked with her just hand in hand, as I had often done so long ago. And in simple seconds a closeness grew her somehow in to me. Somewhere closer then maybe I could see. A woman wanting a somewhere to be. The wind
raged in her hair so thick and so alive in her color.
Autumn was the stage as we played across dying leaves, myself never quite remembering anyone but for the wind and this girl across my hand. Sand blew across our feet never quite naked but she moved no retreat. Defeat rang hard through my soul, on such an empty name. There were stone walls and calls from beyond my hands to belong, for a wedding along my run. Such a sunless day too alive to leave anything left for free children to say. But a unicorn tapestry mirrored something I wasn't quite ready to see. On full run and a rage to be, quietly my cape stirred in the wind. Love on the form of a meeting and a growing of care for. But another night came and I had to leave her to her kome, alone. The silence was ever much stronger as I walked those shadowed streets, skin torn from the tips of my fingers, while something close to love or touch lingered. The shadows of trees over concrete urged me into, and to run as I walked still along. A song I couldn't quite catch was the dusk tearing the night open. So sweet this womans care to be lying alone in her childs bed, with parents still locking the doors at night. Those long nights.
And a rage who held my name in full run, I smoked a joint alone in the night to float that rage away. Even stoned I couldn't stop that rage and the stage of loving Good-byes.
She sat down back with me along the edge of that wall, and we watched together the calls of this masked party. Where could I name the love I knew was behind her eyes and all the still trys waiting to be. Did I try to love into her that night, but could I slow enough to see who the woman was needing to be. My lips touched her breasts, and in her warmth it seemed that there was somewhere for me to come into, or maybe to be. Never somewhere just to be. But I slept her that night cradling her virginity still, a fill of life for me behind walls I couldn't wait to please.
I didn’t want that morning but it came all the same. There was a color in her eyes for me so fine that where else could I be.
And yet I left her standing alone to her child’s world to continue a run. More smoke filled my lungs and the wind blew in through the open window of a moving car. It was time to say hello and I couldn't wait. With someone stirring inside of me and was it she. Was it somewhere she couldn't be. Nothing to say but for a poem never to be delivered.
How funny is it that I never left her that morning, carrying within me a poem for her that she would never be ready to see. What good-by was demanding to speak onto that of which I might seek. My run contained was cracking these ever-thin walls of concrete and air.
On a Christmas stage Good-by was the title pace of an unwritten poem. On love still on love I give freedom, but how unwanted. Somewhere in that night I felt past time in her eyes a birth that would rage death into her soul.
And even so my fingers would reach, but my lips would leave her no where to go. I cared love that I would not press my own blood tears from her eyes. Death held still for a silent surprise. The poem ended and never left my fingers, the child could never survive watching me die for her. And so I live alone with a rhyme sewn far, longer years into my soul.
On a Christmas stage, I watch the tears pain her eyes in a pain she would learn to despise. Where alive on her own edge of freedom. So rational, the child cries never shedding the mans tear. It was early morning any year.
Good-byes never withdrawn.
Lost in a New York City stain. Winter rained wind and ice, as cold and there was nowhere left to remain.
At two in the morning outside the Staten Island ferry long into February, with naked trees on any side of me, I walked in a crowd close to she, something much to much. there to be said as I watched her eyes play wind through the lighted length of her hair. A good-by I could barely face as I reached to trace my fingers into her hand. But the wind tore my hair longer still with its run chilling my nakedness, a simple hello could have found me in that moment, but for the rage that would tear into her soul, and a good-byes living sound. And she pulled away still wanting me to stay. In a try against love, where could I find myself but alone. Never to walk her home again and all the tears were still hers. The tears who were always theirs.
In spring what season of conception, was a dance of full absurdity reaching out from the streets. A war still raged children into death, by ever-careless parents. Students tried to still believe in whose College of what choice. I bedded a girl who couldn't care, and so maybe neither did I. There was still a rage in red, either wind or blood stained into the corners of my eyes. But I played the game on a stage I never built; writing my poems never read. Given poems who are but taken as paper. A long time to stand and suddenly New York City breaks. I had no where left to stand only places to die. Endless places to die.
On the edge of a bridge I had shared once somewhere ago. I stand holding onto the bridge lost in a wind whose rage seems to meet mine so close and so fine, to tear me a long way into death. So full of light was that clouded stage while so easy was it to feel a saying still of good-byes again to faces but never seen. No pain in their eyes to the rain of my rage on its running stage. A stage no could believe. The wind marked time illusive while I waited for the rhyme to pass me by. A passing that never came. Her poems still completed clutched in my hands. All their poems still completed clutched in my hands. A wind never quite strong enough to tear them away, to tear me away. All the eyes I moved close to could never be allowed to watch me die. Alone, the run is alone, but where is the death. And maybe all the rest that never would come. Another bridge left still in place. A subway train filled with a thousand empty faces all calling me in, calling in all who dreamed to be. What child would meet her woman and dance the freedom to be. But what man could refuse not to be? It was time to move or was it time to die. What fears of nowhere stretched out across my eyes, and all the tries I was yet to steal.
I was leaving New York City, all the concrete and empty shadows. I’m not sure I would have wanted to have let go of those loving good-byes, if my strangers run would have let me. But it was the only name allowed my fingers freedom or some concept of sun. The scream was not to return, but someone in nowhere knew I must, but so was the rust that carved into my soul. It was only time to go.
A knapsack was packed full of things I would probably never need, lying across an almost tenement room easily against the wall near to the door. A parent said good-by meaning even less and I never listened. Was it death that called her back, her eyes reaching while her hands walked with another. Or was it me still afraid of my own good-byes, my killing not quite, tries. It was an acid good-by there in the park, where I had come into her once where ago. Whose souls does time dare ever to own. Was it the acid, which thought me to disbelieve, an empty toy tool working through the fingers of my run.
She entered that room that night, color worn but still full in the life of her hair. With eyes who could find me, so easily on that moment that I dared nothing to say. A kiss too warm and in tears free, how dared it leave me to my alone silences so the rage held firm. And by the time I had turned to her, she was gone. A borrowed poem, and more the so real was left to drift between my hands. And for a rainbow could she only find without me. But for all the pain she'll come to see. Still on a good-bye which whispers could only speak. I broke from her kiss and was running maybe just to stay.
The following morning I watched her from a subway pulling away. Its windows were too caked with dirt for me to catch the tears. A nap-sack feeling weight against my back, my fingers caressing a sea shell about my neck, holding into her eyes and a dream that maybe she would wait just a little while longer. Her shell alive with the silence of a touch. And the drift pulled me away.
Something alone could only survive on a rage, which leaned itself toward a murders stage. Sweet rainbow song I could only long for.
Is this a Child’s journal I live in rewrite or a run that quickly forgot its own fright
Beautiful country it is.
I hope it doesn't rain.
Oh please leave me alone bug.
Maybe freedom is all there is, for I could be anywhere, just pick a direction and follow my thumb.
No time for yesterdays or even tomorrow, just time to drift along. And the rage slowed for a moment while the run grew easy, as movement was the turn of this first morning. Someone had mentioned the beautiful country to be found in Yosemite National Park, California. So for no reason I dared name I picked my point and let my unnaked feet free.
Unsure of the New Jersey State police and their strange attraction to my hair, I took a cowards way out and bused my way into Penn. I could almost see myself still standing on the edge of the George Washington Bridge. But the bus started on its way and passed my shadow with nothing, to say.
Somewhere just into Pa. standing alone with my sign. Someone drifting in the back of my mind, but with nothing to say. Drawn in thick black on torn cardboard, I followed my own letters simply WEST.
A strange ease sat with me inside suddenly and all my eyes could find was this drift away, for where ever would I go.
There goes one car, another, another, another, another, and so on. A sudden taste of the hippie fear, but I couldn’t seem to care. There was no place to be and time was the illusion, or so I dared to perceive. Time and empty space. Funny how heavy my pack became, as I had to run up that road to catch my first ride. An orange car? Well why not. A commuter with empty eyes and fewer words for whatever
reason took me only about forty miles. He was off to work and I was off to, what?
How strange was it for how were there many faces running towards each their own nowhere during that summer, or any summer found. Someone prepared tent and all. Short hair and a freshly out beard, we met there alone on the road. He was headed out toward Denver, and upon a stranger’s acceptance we came to thumb vaguely together. There was no ease or was it I, and no friend game, just a passing along the same road.
Every now and then he would talk of his wife and child, now living somewhere in San Francisco.
Another mosquito has hit its target and I was its targets well no
Was he religious or was it that he simply believed in god. Was my rage watching from behind a curtain watching these unknown stages open out before me. He truly believed that every two years he would lose all his material possessions. ‘This is the way his life had been running' He had lost his wife because he was too caught up with being straight. A running for money and more money short hair and all the little games someone else was callings. What else was there that this man wouldn't go after his wife. He was going to mine coal and save for a small piece of land somewhere, Another body joined us there about. A longhaired movement, but these were faces without a name, though why not.
to roll up another cigarette.
Oh Shit, it
looks like a joint; sure wish I had one, oh well that's life.
Another ride came and picked up all three. That kid had that weird sort of smile that most stoned freaks have. His was a simple story. His girl friend was in a hospital up in Wisconsin and it was where he had to go. Never did find out what was wrong with her, whatever little meaning that would have. Whatever little meaning would anything have out here on the side of the road. The next ride rode us through the end
of the state and into the night. Darkness came where we ate two pop tarts and a bag of beef jerky.
Think I'll have another chocolate chip cookie.
Good . . . all sixteen chips of it.
I don’t think I quite noticed how quickly a cover of silence drifted over me inside.
Was the absurdity that easy a show to ride. Off the road, over a wire fence and into a small patch of woods topping a low hill, to sleep. Maybe too dark to hitch, it seemed easier just to follow for a moment.
Somewhere along and another day a character leaves the play. And another car. Good young religious students, who were going to teach at a religious school somewhere. And the school was of a different faith, or whatever. They chose for sweet happiness. And empty New York City trains began passing me by again. The ride was short and my eyes were drifting once again. So warm was the sound of passing cars.
I was met by the voices of two little girls. Both were riding one bicycle down a hill on the other side of a fence marking the highway off. 'Hey hippies, where are you going?' Up, I said and then gave them the PeaceO FreakO sign. What was the college and what was her name. Sitting with those crazed eyes never quite wanting to see, always on a windowsill. Silence on those lips I never touched or cared to disturb. (That bending motion to her fingers while making the peace sigh.) Such an empty wave for good-byes
Four people stuffed in a yellow Volkswagen. Someone was goinghome, to a home long, unseen? What did he mean. A little bit of hash afire in a bic pen pipe. The sounds of Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Getting stoned to Janis Joplin and moving always moving down this road. No time to remember good-byes that were never empty. PeaceO FreakO! And something inside too stoned to care that her waves were for empty Good-byes.
I’m spending half my time hitting, away the bugs, but that's part of it
Time for a deviled ham sandwich and water.
The stories and the faces change but how much is it all the same. Hellos coming and going, nothing but stories endless stories touching to sew into your soul. Interstate dope smugglers running the ends of fishing boats from Florida. Midwestern colleges running gas-eating vans out to Colorado to study the killing of coyotes and the pollution therefore caused. Someone from Harlem played some really fine New York City Blues out there in the middle of nowhere. My fingers touched a magic shell and I reached inside for someone, or for anyone. No for someone strangely there, and nothing more. Nebraska moved forever by, or was it me. Was there some blond combing my hair. The windows were the only place my eyes would stare, all adrift somewhere else.
San Francisco, oh all this beautiful distance. It came and went as was time laughing at me from somewhere. There were no rides coming as I stood somewhere past the city, just another city. Nothing but silence. A female somewhere was annoyed at the wait. The air suddenly grew very humid, and with nothing said a distinctive fog began a crawl off the ocean slowly over rows of hills, seemingly towards only me. Marking every inch it moved was a silence in its time.
Poetry was riding paper upon my fingers stage upon stage. And too many no ones to write for.
She ran from a boy friend and found me in the desert, or was it just beyond the rock broken raging of a waterfall. She stole a poem I gave to her and we almost made love, early in the darkness of a night. But were they my fingers who never seemed to demand. What empty commands were blowing fast away in the sand. The sand I never forced to stay. Or I couldn't care to hear it that way.
A poem written somewhere along those roads, for all and all the passing that came to play.
TURNING ROAD BLUES
Turning road blues
in time to the
stretched about the sides
Walk and wake and find
yes; once more
You have come to know
my name forever
You have to but wait in
this sway of time with me
till we've gone
all each one mans
need not day good-by
as it is yet again
the turning road
One car for you
one for me
About this world- that we
still live - again we'll meet
How nameless were these dreams I seemed to reach and really never quite carried. Three Lakes Wisconsin and a Family that seemed to hope I would love their daughter. She still had those crazed eyes. But she held too many questions with no corner left aside for a simple why. For a simple why. It was the middle of the night and all the lights were no longer burning. A stranger’s family slept somewhere close; I could almost hear their sighs. The lake was standing as still as my fingers. I was tired and much too alone. There still was nothing sewn onto the naked bottoms of my feet. And still nothing in retreat. A burning smell of tomorrow drifted nearby and still no reason reaching from where, to cry. Simply alone. I reached for her shell, but it lied broken in my hands. A piece was gone, a piece I couldn't find. And somewhere deep inside I seemed to really mind.
The moon crystallized water and then shattered before my hands could reach. A poem of love but what ever did it mean.
Still more highways running late into the night. Ghosts of Fireflies marking time always beyond my grasp stood silence hard into the darkness. My movement was moving and maybe I had forgotten how to hold still. What was this rage who seemed intent on killing, whatever stage of time I might carve. Back out west still again. Each road a different name, and I stopped no longer to look.
I stopped during a careless night somewhere outside of Stockton, The echoes of solders hating the hookers they loved ached into the brow of my mind. There seemed so much of nothing left to find. I just turned around, crossed the road. Riding the road back east with a broken shell and forever poems in hand,
She was German and sometimes a student. I met her hitching with a stranger somewhere on a wind-blowing desert outside sparks, Nevada. I seemed to feel one more story out from her eyes, as I was drawn back to was it my place without a home. Just no where to stay anymore, Too many people and no where to stay.
After a short ride we found ourselves stranded somewhere outside, or so the sign stated,’ Nowhere, Nevada’. and waited. And there we waited, and waited.
A VW bus with two long hairs driving finally passed us was it hours later. If anyone would stop it would have to them. But they passed. Watching them grow small down the road their tires finally screeched. There were three of us; we ran a few hundred feet to catch up with them. We all spent the night with them just outside Lovelock, Nevada . The town owned a gas station, a few slot machines and an Indian slum. We pulled off maybe ten miles out into the desert.
Off from a small dam I slapped mosquitoes, and wrote poems out toward the Rocky Mountains in the sand. It must have been she who had said hello for I really felt that I had nothing to say. It began to rain suddenly on our words as we tried to pass them, and I still didn't myself touching her lips with my fingers. I kissed a stranger till she returned the touch back to me. Between sand and rain was there something to see. And my fingers moved out to feel through her nakedness. Somewhere solid and wet I pulled her onto me searching for her eyes across her flesh as her fingers reached for mine. Somewhere in find a drift across marked sand. And it was again all my command. She wouldn't pull away. She whispered her fear never quite pulling away. And her eyes were easy within the palms of my hands. Sands shifted. My soul drifted to find her so near by with tears already in her eyes. And maybe she lied and maybe she was already pregnant, but her words in their silence pleaded from the freedom of this ride. And why? We slept clothed and close, friends forced to say hello.
We continued this ride half way through the Rocky Mountains. And I mean mountains, from the tops of any of these one can look down and still see blue sky. At a pit stop along side the road, I had gotten out as our present ride couldn't take us much further, and asked two kids in a dodge van if they were willing to give us a ride. After thinking on it for a few minutes they agreed; they were going down into Denver. They would have to leave us off in Wyoming just outside Cheyenne.
We stood for five hours, until darkness fell without setting a ride.
We were a little annoyed when a kid was let off and then sat before us
ready to steal the first ride to come along.. It wasn't his fault. He didn’t understand a hitchhikers courtesy but the girl, weird and foreign that she was walked down the road and told him. But right then he received a ride. To top all this, another three kids who had walked past us had gotten rides before us. Our luck was so fucked that almost it was funny. Yet, so is life on the road.
In the falling darkness we walked through the city seeing as little of it as we could. We made use of a gas station and then found another spot just outside a truck stop. We sat close to a street lamp just to make it easier for the passing cars to see us. . Getting tired the other guy lit up a joint and we all got stoned. But before finishing it a car stopped and we had to quickly put it out.
A man forty years old, time count, offered to drive us just outside the city limits, to a better place to hitch. He hated that place and all he wanted to do was leave it. He was almost to the point of saying fuck it all. All the almosts as my eyes tried to shut him away. Finally another ride and finally another wait.
She had just woken up as I passed a blanket back and forth trying to keep warm in the morning air. Jerry was that his name? Well he was sleeping on the other side of the pole. She offered to hitch while I took a turn at rest. So we traded spots. It was only ten minutes that past when a tractor trailer passed. There were apparently rocks being thrown up at me from the ground and I threw up my hands to avoid my face getting hit. When I looked up, I found the girl lying screaming on the ground. At first I thought she had been hit in the eye. But after a few minutes when people began to crowd around, and I was able to make some sense out of the girl, I found out what happened. The back wheel had flown off the truck; those rocks I had been protecting myself from were pieces of metal from the tire cap. The wheel had hit the girl and thrown her six feet into the air. The police arrived soon after. Gerry and I gathered our packs together and then off I went to the hospital with, yes it was Petra in the ambulance. Reality I guess. Gerry rode in a police car with our Packs. If they only knew that he was carrying two ounces of grass on his person. Well, I guess justice and right triumphs again.
Petra spent five days in Kimball County Hospital, with myself and strangers at her bedside. We talked once but there was little time for what nothings to be said. Gerry left the second day as he was in a hurry to get home. And I spent five days being chased by police and fighting for rooms in local hotels, who weren’t exactly pleased with my presence. She received a minor fracture but it would heel. I could continue with more on the road tales of a lone freak in a small mid-western city, town I should say. But with the aid of a nice, aging rich and influential woman, Petra flew back to the east.
I said good-bye to her in a white attic room, somewhere in the suburbs of Philadelphia. It was a long kiss and maybe too easy a good-bye. I took a train, so tired of these turning roads, with a rage still beside me, her breath still warm across my fingers, heading back to New York City. A silent harmonica rang the blues swift beside my soul.
A broken shell in my pocket, and books full of poems. Of mountains reaching, of children trying or was it dying, tears and more. A rainbow across my feet while New York city concrete and the night push into the skin of my eyes.
No! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Where was I, with a cup of tea cold in the grasp of my hands.
My eyes seem to gaze over and back again over what written phrases from that open page of the black covered journal of a sister dead. And nothing said? An oil torn painting of a woman carrying a child, warm in her arms and dead, does it stare an empty wall back into me? I try hard to hold onto something solid and nothing. My naked toes are tapping upon a finished wooden floor, all unheard or even felt. Dwelling on a drift, and the rhythm of the wind pounding- into window glass and wood. Time is taking just where nothing is to be sold any longer. Oh sweet wind take me away. Break this rage onto your stage, where my running might meat your try. So still I sit sipping cold tea.
Once again this child is mine for a day, she is dressed and ready to play. But her eyes, their silence reach out to me whispering deeply for me to be. Where outside a window are the trees still naked outside a window I see. Come let's play you and me?, please! Her lips are much too young for the form they take. My fingers shake but my eyes only smile for her to see. Day after closed day waiting to be allowed to be with her again. What is tearing in her eyes.
We run to hide behind a door opened back to a the wall. Crouched low with our knees facing one another for a monster is coming. She pleads that we remain. That time might refrain from reaching her. The monster is gone but no, still he comes. Daddy let me stay with you. What answer could I give to my child who is only three. How little, and yet how much must she, see. Come closer to me, for the monster won't find you. A child whose blood isn't mine, but whose eyes have found me and forever.
I strum my guitar slightly out of tune and she turns from her
blocks to listen. A sweet song, in full love and pain for what else seems to remain.
What night did I hold this child into me as she slept never to easily, my eyes stroking her sleep deep into the night. And always it was time for her to go home.
What last night, were there really tears breaking through the pain in my eyes. I held her close in my arms and she knew that still again she was going home. Only three years old. My mother hates me, Please, don't take me home. I hate that home. Please. But they won't let me keep you away. Your mother loves you. But no she seemed to cry out. To what more was I holding her just away from? She was breaking apart inside. On what ride of touch was I raping her Inside. Her eyes were glazed as she reached for me tighter. Please,
I don't love my home! And more silently, please. Deeper much deeper inside.
No more tearing into your soul child, I'm sorry!
I can’t say good-by... I love you child… Will you ever remember… I have to say good-by… You’re breaking in two, and there is nothing, nothing left for me to do. I'm ever loving you! I said good-by while we walked down those long streets sweetly along, between shadows... I said good-by.
And so I broke apart, where unseen back inside there at the top of the stairs as I watched the child run through the door of her home, hoping that she would turn back, just one more time. A mother despising me, for the child who would never understand. And I never even tried to explain why.
Echoing in the wind some six stories above what nameless concrete walk, what phase lingered upon my fingers wouldn't move. That black covered diary lied as still as I. And one finger tapped a rhythm I couldn’t quite seem to hear. It is never earlier then last year, no yesterdays ever to linger on, and a somewhere tomorrow is suddenly gone. Somewhere deep inside I seem to lean over that edge of the roof some six stories up, and yet I never quite seem to fall over. So still and a sweet gentle tapping.
For no reason she could name, she thought to look on the roof when she didn't find him at home when she returned, late from work. He wasn't working and where would he go. She never thought to go for help when she found him sitting up there unmoving and ever so silent. And ever so silent. How she managed, while tears rode in her eyes as he wouldn't speak to here with the wind always down across her or was it his face.
He just sat there, his finger eternally tapping on the wooden edge of what blue torn chair. His silence a long distance of void deep within glazed blue eyes, eyes which wouldn’t even blink. She wouldn’t move, afraid that he might suddenly disappear. There were tears in her eyes, waiting still waiting for him to return. A strangely raging wind pounded harder upon window glass and wood, till she was afraid that they might almost cave in.
His sisters black covered journal was now in her lap, opened to a page bent upon itself. And in the light of a tree formed lamp, never quite bright enough, much later that night, she read what lines over and over. Waiting for him alone in the night.
"………..I’ve got to come to some
good sources of living."
And still she found nothing on that page. And still she sat across from him, his hair so long and in a rage unnamed. When would he wake. Still tapping, endlessly tapping.
Down, six stories down on an endless walk of concrete lies a book of poems. Unseen. Unseen as was the death good-bye spoken from the open lips of a sister no longer. Open to a last poem, or to a moment. To lie unseen, always unseen.
In wind glass shattering
Through sleep echoes – drifting along
The movement of walking
My eyes opening
And seeing – yet where,
Staring into cracked concrete walls
With autumn, a sweet smell,
Kneeling its silent eyes
Just outside a windowsill
With wood rattling glass
So close to
A where-ever ,I try to lie in rest
To blow-out , myself away
All in pieces
And nowhere left to stay
Or wind play
And no tears are around
To say good-bye
Sky cast over in gray –
a dry wood coffin,
held still ,
between two ever ancients stone
pillars, stone framed
and my soul, dripping
as cold water,
into the Wooden Sides -
while I ride within all sides,
and everywhere is to go -
no place for sleep. anymore -
No place to drift away -
for my soul won't stop paying –
whatever it's price to burn -
eternally in turn -
I stand, naked
cold skin facing a morning,
much too early to face out
a window my fingers Struggle to open
to open, just to open?
or, in my own blood
dripping onto a wood carved floor -
what for, more!
What whisper or silence do I hear how ever far away…(when would he wake) Just a still and tapping, endless tapping ... Sweet Rhythm"
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