Saturday, July 29, 2006

Monday, July 17, 2006

duck, duck, goose.

some three thousand miles later, sans mustache, and the poplars outside the window move like unsynchronized dancers.
the island here is quiet now.
i hedge the vines. it's the perfect Little Man game. put a two foot blade in my hand, "them grapes stand too tall, take em down to seven foot." and i do, little walkman wrapped into my belt loop, bonnie raitt rappin about men she left, men who left her, what she wants in a man, and the one and only whom she caught just a glimpse of.
and i whack the top off the vines. sharpen the blade between rows. the flick of the wrist, and they fall about my feet. just the big empty field of glistening leaves, ugly matte of dirt and pebbles--and me, a lonely samurai in deck shoes worn through the toes, those black jeans, no shirt and a wide brim straw hat.
when i get too hot i trundle off to the dock at Odlin, park the car, hot-step it over the sand to the lazy fishermen at the dock, who lack even the effort to hop a dingy. if the tide's in, i dive off the top pier, and Lazies grimace as i turn up the peace and tranquil of that murky green bay water. make a big old mess of sound, that pssssssh! of water and the gasp in my lungs.
but they muse at the efficiency of the cold water and the speed with which i hop back up the dock, how my heels hiss on that sand, and my volvo burns out, spits gravel across the beach.
this is where i hide from: the boat accident (one dead, one coma, one arm shot full of screws and bolts, one distraught mother/pilot of two survivors). the bad party (one grudge, two arrests, one forearm bite on Felix the cop, two counts assault, one confused community). the cancer (two months to live, she gets). the acid burns on my brother's hands (they went away).
hide until it all rights itself, until this cough goes away (ragweed, methinks, but fuck it anyhow).
hide, please.

Monday, July 03, 2006

if adieu means 'until God', how do you say, 'until september'?

(He calls it a perfect day when he describes Coney Island):
It is dark but for the boardwalk and the rides and the glittering lights, like punchy colored fruit from so many trees.
The Cyclone climbs, aches and groans up that initial mountain of steel and wood, thick with creosote, bulging with massive spikes and screws and washers and nuts. The girl with my big southern friend twists herself up in his arm and chirps with terror. There is a great pause as we reach the top and the first cars tip the edge, over a chasm I cannot see.
And gravity claims us.

The rollercoaster whips me across the two seats I alone occupy, and don’t think I am not aware of, for the first time, and am certainly stronger for: the bare tenancy of that seat.
My stomach embraces my throat and we kick right, and I am pinned back, and free from the tunnel, I see, again, Coney Island:
*The Wonder Wheel, slow and methodical, rearranges those little boxes of boxes of people like mice navigate a maze.
*The batting cages sound off like twelve gauge volley; aluminum bats tonk! balls into the net, and in the fast cages (100+ mph), those hard rubber balls whup! the backstop past the hungry swings of spike-haired Coney Island Sammy Sosas.
*The baseball field down the way empties as the home team holds the competitor to one hit and a man stranded in the ninth. Drunken fathers sling sleepy kids over shoulders and puff cowboy killers all the way to the Q train.
*And those Brooklyn girls, below, in their halter tops and jean shorts. Those sunburns that develop as the florescent lights of Ocean Avenue blast on, to expose crimson lines across their breasts, between their shoulder blades, on their knees.

The Cyclone hits a flat patch, and then a deep, dark pothole: the bottom drops out, we lose our collective breath, another twist, another turn, and our little train wretches to a stop in a tunnel of light and voices (get OUT the train!).
They stare: ticket takers and lever crankers and teenagers with thrust out hips and cocky in their eyes, in their twisted up mouths.
And the Nathan’s Famous Onion Pepper Dog in my gut remains there (reluctantly, thankfully).

But now, I will return Home. For the summer, for the five borough July/August blaze of heat and fire in the eyes and minds, on the street and in the tired, overwrought recesses of my head, my heart, my body. The way it wilts me on the subway platform, the way I kick free of my sheets—can’t sleep but for the wutwutwut of the overhead fan—and for the way I yearn to jump from a boat, any old boat, headlong, heels bare to the sky, into the salty, kelp-wrapped water of Puget Sound.
Funny thing is? Never done it. Played it out a thousand ways in my head, romanticized the fucker, remembered it to my friends as it were true. But no, I never done it.
Ever considered the coldness of that water? The way it sucks your breath out when you meet it? The way it leaves a salty white frosting head to toes, eyelashes to pubic hair?

Cuz you aint gonna live forever, and there’s no guarantee you’re going in your sleep, or at the top of a ice-capped, sun-kissed mountain, or tucked away on a hammock with your greatest love. But that indeed, It can be cold and violent and sudden with no chance for reconciliations or hatchet buryings and if you forget those things you always wanted to do but never had a chance and put off til another moment, one of convenience, then—BUT there are no convenient moments,
it. all. occurs. right. then.
so finish it then as if the next thing you did, even without a moment to recollect or sweetly wax reminiscent—Finish it then.
You want the mountains, you long for a river and the quiet, and the pull, and you want for the strong, assured, peaceful hand of the water to carry you down, then do that.

(well) I want for the mountains, for the pull of that unencumbered hand of the current of the river or the sea (cleaner, I would hope, than the waters of the tri-state area), and so for the Brief Moment, I’m off to the Manifest Destiny of the Great NW, before we pave it under.
Please visit me. Please. Remind me of this grand old clusterfuckery, to which I’ll quickly return. Because you, your grass is green as. green as.