Monday, July 6, 2015

The Ed Garvey Shelter II 1100'

flipping journal pages:
the first 100 days
first 1000 mile days
first Georgia to Maryland days;

seated on picnic bench outside
log cabin 2 floored-3 walled shelter
hikers come and go,
breakfast cooking.

there's this feeling of destination
     of movement in the piles of wood,
     relaxed bodies, slumping packs,
     hiker poles stuck in soft earth;

there's 1,000 more miles to Ka-TAH-din,
there's a 100 miles wilderness in the way,
there's rain,
there's heat,
there's cold.
     maybe snow,
     bruised feet
     bug bites
     sores

but there's still 1,000 miles to go
there's still 1,000 miles to go

AT Poems IV

The Ed Garvey Shelter 1100'

.4 miles to mountain spring
down switchbacks
lined with wild raspberry bushes
muddy trails,
slick rocks,
raised tree roots;

sun glints and lights
through canopy,
spring runs,
cool, cold, deep,
ancient,

quenches thirst
of those
unknown thousands,

hiker
wanderer
whiteblazer
blueblazer
northbounder
southbounder

tank up.

AT Poems III

Weverton Cliffs 780'

stealth camp on
Weverton Cliffs,
1 am,
tents up; rain tarp;
no time for bear bag;
sleep with pack;
pillow;
morning coming on,
train sounds in
the night;
Gabow snores;
a metallic snapping sound
four times each closer;
creeping fire,
out tent flaps
I expect any moment,
bear snout, bigfoot;
and phantom thing
of paranoia,
until adrenaline
from hike wearing,
I sleep.

AT Poems II

Harpers Ferry 315'

for Mike Gabow

night in the town
John Brown built
with his blood,
on his blood,

prophesy of a land
cleansed by blood,
still in waiting;
baptized in many
campfires,

 St. Peter's church leans
over cliffside, faced north,
hand carved steps lead
out of town;
across O old potomac,
where blood orange
moon rises over distant
hills,

a night hike under
Mennen's Borated Talcum
Toilet Powder sign; faded;
carved around 1903,

in the dark there are no white markers,
think back and retrace your steps;
or continue on empty roads, railroad tracks,
the C & O canal towpath,

up heavy grades,
switch backs in the dark,
head lamps beaming,
no short cuts,
wet mud, glowing eyes,
flutter of insect wings
to the underpass US-340;
four miles to Weverton Cliffs.

AT Poems I

Thursday, July 2, 2015

the brown waves of the earth

fall,
the brown waves of the earth
hurl yourself upon my feet,
rise,
the brown waves of the earth
carry me to the west,
unfurl,
you brown waves of the earth
before my ancient eye west,
sink,
you brown waves of the earth
away from my east in ecstasy,
west,
the brown waves of the earth
lap at rocky mountain heights,
east,
the brown waves of the earth
stand on Mississippi shores,
perfect,
you brown waves of the earth
are in our dreams,
absolute,
the brown waves of the earth
and your golden grain,
pure,
you brown waves of the earth
and your big blue skies,
mysterious,
the brown waves of the earth
your high and low plains,
forever,
you brown waves of the earth
and your pioneers,
indelible,
the brown waves of the earth
roll and pitch in prairie swells,
unblemished,
the brown waves of the earth
remain in our hearts,
impermanent,
the brown waves of the earth,
as I am at your feet,
ethereal,
you brown waves of the earth
are mother to america
always,
the brown waves of the earth,
always,
you brown waves of the earth,
when I am lost,
when I am lost,
the brown waves of the earth
point me home,
are my home.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

the sun was dropping low in the west

you saw a vision of me,--
skin burnt, bandanna tied 'round neck
scuffed boots, faded, frayed wool socks
red flannel shirt, torn at one elbow,
worn corduroys rolled up to knees,
hat pulled low over brow
rucksack on back,
--slouching into the coming fog;
one step from gone,
the wide open prairie.
grass like greatest widest ocean
before me, tossed under 
storm clouds darker than night.

I was a phantom you said.
I had never lived, you said.

the world was like a snow globe, you said.

Here, you can see for miles.
Here, you blinked at big open sky
Here, red rolling hills stared back,

I used them to
covered my escape.

Monday, June 29, 2015

sunday night with cats

You hug my leg
dreaming sweetly;
then you bite me
twitching, mewing

I don't understand it either

not what you want,
or why,

I am here, breathing.

your body is warm
fur covered, tired.

we yawn together.

your eyes flash orange,
pupil turquoise ringed.

blink one eye, then other
now both.

it's past midnight, into new days.

okay, I'll stop typing
so you can sleep,

okay.
okay.
okay.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cafe

cafe creme
cafe latte
coffee, steamed milk

Hemingway nursed them
back in the ex-pat days

writing with a pencil
in little Parisian cafes

keeping it real
cut out the
adjectives

tell it
straight

no bullshit.

Commuted

sick heat of bus
fumes
rush hour traffic on
Columbia Pike.

          --She stepped off exhausted
          no A/C on bus
          far from home on winding
          pentagon trails
          carrying too much in the
          summer heat 90+ degrees
          pretty dress shimmer in low
          sun's light, tanned skin--      a rippled image
                                                   in the dying day

air brake scream
green lights of traffic light
movement hulking chrome
bodies moving south west
another day
another time

a distant car horn.

Remember

behind a logging truck on 120
     headed west.

Steep elevation drop, two-lane road, black oak, ponderosa pine,
     cedar, fir lined.

riding up right on its ass, wood chips, bark scatter,
     snap on car hood, window, ease off
                                                            there's no reason to hurry.

the coast will be there in the end,
     the ocean.

relax, watch the tree line, cavern curve,
     take in some blue sky.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Eat Your Fry-bread

Black copters over five corners
fly,
'If you are an enemy to the status quo,
you are an enemy of the
United States,'
that's not my America
         not yours
         not ours
that's an occupation force
a preoccupation with violence
staffed by brainwashed control uniformity
at war with civilized state
as war with mountain, valley, hill, tree
          the city is a reservation
          corporations are casino towers
          at work to determine your fate
                    America's fate
                    yours
                    mine.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

There will always be maps

there will always be maps
     to mark our dead trails
to devise new bold lines at large
     to exist in abstract vision
to make real when followed afar

the time between motion
     is opaque, malleable
floats like absinthe cloudy orb
     fog-like in my sight
promises are all from memory
     until they've been proven false

There will always be maps
     to divide one thing or another
to draw a trap for the mind
     to paint in one color what is many
to place in hand what is unattainable

the time between motion
     is like death, immutable
follows like black dog, nips at heel
     with diamond claws and prophetic whim
phantom-like in my peripheral
     until the door left open creaks at last  

there will always be maps
     to designate and mark the dead
to bury and harvest the living
     to draw lines on aged bodies
to sever the connective tissue of reality

the time between motion
     is fluid, indiscernible
from heat-death entropy
     rose-like its scent lingers
as bodies baking in the sun
     until even scent and taste halt

there will always be maps
     to draw footprints to our attention
to make what is and what is to come
     to carve a deep path and lay tracks
to determine what the future holds

the time between motion
     is something new, frightening
something that must be solved
     with numbers and quantities
each step is one foot than the other
     solved for variable X or Y
there can be no uncertainty, coincidence

there will always be maps
     to guide the living
to draw out the boxes of the dead
     to place us on the unerring path
to prove there is no other way

Monday, June 22, 2015

PI

carefully I'm writing these crime novels, setting my heroes up

on tv they'll cast them all with square jaws, thick red lipstick

the atmosphere will be brooding, dark sets, city streets

I'll spend the first ten chapters, three episodes, explaining private eyes

sunglasses at night will be the theme, both series and book

a QR code for song download will be included on the inside flap

there will be well tailored suits, complicated relationships

it'll all end in a urban street fight after a car/subway chase

villains will sneer, die, men will cry, fear,

women will live happy ever after, alone,

commercials will air on the last page and every ten minutes on the dot

Saturday

Poems to write down

but
life, like it
does
gets in the
way

eight hours
at the
mechanic
no pen or
paper

reading Bukowski,
Hollywood,
life gets
in his
way, too

thinly
veiled
auto-
bio-
graphy,

I found David Lynch
hiding in the
pages,

finished the
novel in
one sitting,
cursed myself
for not bringing
something else

chewed on
some
mono-
sodium
glutamate
sprinkled on
pretzels,

bought it without
seeing the
nutrition info
on back,

patched tire,
new rotors
brakes
battery
added up,

from there to
airport
felicia waiting
in rain,
from there to
eat

storms,
half hour drive,
zero
visibility,

drive back,
park,
unload luggage
in rain,
unpack, shower,

deep breath,
lights out
and promise
to remember
this poem
for later

sleep.

Snow Fire

charred remains
of neighborhood
I knew, up the hill
there was a church,
steeple seen through
top of trees from road
below, now only cinders
blackened debris at our
feet, yet snow falls and
is hot to touch, I have
no shoes, tip-toe around
silent gravestones, find
a path amidst altered state,
the houses around continue
to burn, do not break, just
burn, I keep my head down,
watch my feet, step into flame.