August 4, 2009

Moon over Mahwah



Water so warm...relief like small waves lapping the duck floating lazily nearby...wind softly hissing through pines...long year's struggle nearing end rescue in sight...the end of something...a small boy in a man's body silent intent on passing planes...his mother in him...the calm Poet in a raging interior wind no one else can hear...talent stifled...intellect stunned...what's going on in there? what happened to you? who did this? it's just a plane goddammit there's fifty thousand of them up there!...fifty thousand? really?...yes goddammit fifty thousand!...stop it stop it stop it please stop it oh please stop it I silently cry please stop it...what happened to you?...I yell at him first time in our lives and he actually stops it reasons himself into it...you have choices don't you?...you make them all the time don't you? you don't have to look at every goddamned plane...and he actually stops gives me his full attention...remembers Macdougal Street remembers the time I stole seeds from Tom Jefferson's garden and his grandmother threw them away thinking they were trash...remembers most of it and finally a laugh...a laugh! yes! a laugh! that's the way! laugh like me! I laugh all the time nobody can see the tears they think they're happy tears.



Ear popping I'm stuck in a barrel...gently now gently...don't get angry don't get mad don't yell it won't help...gently...gently...softly...no questions...acceptance...praise...hugs...holding back the tears oh please stop it son...I see a light in his eyes...a smile...an argument...oh thank God an argument...anything...come out of there...come on now...come out of the dark...the winter's over...let your hair grow long...put on a clown suit...fool them make them think you're gay...make them think you're something else...be something else today...be a chameleon like Dylan...remember Dylan?...the turning point...return...return...return to me return to us...come back be yourself again...my silent pleas voice shaking teary over what just happened in New York...can't even talk about it without crying laughing he gets it...he gets it...he's got embarrassed questions...I tell him how I write...I show the notebooks...how the ideas develop...how I found the colors and saw their meaning in the distant people...how I took a quote from someone else and turned it around to mean something else...how I invented this started that stopped it and turned it upside down to get at the meaning of my meaning the melody of the broken song...how I stole it and made it mine...how I make it move like a locomotive you figure it out...how raw it looks at first...how this isn't the finished product...they'd scorn all writers if they saw the clumsy first strokes...how to do it...you have to be working when it comes..."creativity comes in bursts you have to be working when it does"...she taught me so much...now I'm teaching her a lesson and I hate it hate it hate it but I have to live...have to breathe can't do that again...it's failure and death for me babe...it ain't no game it's life or death.



Hate this town the rich people look so unhappy...sad memories here...but the Poet's house is nice...she's planted lovely things...never heard of a butterfly bush before...look honeybees!...the universe comes to her door and she doesn't comment...it's too big too beautiful too painful to talk about...remember the time...please don't Mike...okay...your little dog is nice...border collie so shy just like her...intelligent and quick...quick!...can't get the ball past her...sheep wouldn't have a chance...ha ha ha...I make her smile...first time in 30 years I make her smile...for a moment a hint of warmth...but the pain's still there...I don't think about it at all she says without saying...it stings...she's cutting back the yard with small scissors a stalk at a time...lovely...lovely...all this could have been mine...her hands aged but firm...I think of deer when I think of her...lovely fleet and strong of heart...she trained horses became allergic then trained dogs...but there was the war remember the war? the one I thought I won while we were losing.



Another whole day at the lovely lake...I used to swim here with Finch...remember Finch?...I cook up a meal...we talk all day...he can't collaborate on the homeless piece it would make him sad...what then?...finally I drive him home...see you Saturday...he firms his handshake...walks uncertainly to the door and stops...what's going on in there? I'll find you yet...I swear I will...I'll find you I can't let you go...drive to Starbucks connect and look...yes the stupid world's still there...Clinton in North Korea making promises and threats we'll never hear...I don't care about that crap anymore...I stand outside smoking and look up...the dark sky the Walgreen sign...the quiet of suburban prosperity the rigid looks the impatient walk the cocaine high of the businessman trying to hide it...five more years bub you'll see you'll lose it all...I'm standing here and look up...and up...and up...there it is...the moon the moon...the only moon over the only town I ever wanted to come back to at all...all I can do is look at it and sigh...and smoke...woman goes by and coughs deliberately to give me a message..."You gotta die of something" I whisper to her back...I finish smoke and turn around...he's walking by across the street far away...it's him all right...a mile from home walking alone...I call his name...once...twice...louder...I scream it...he doesn't hear or he ignores...he's mine goddammit!...he's mine!...but he's not mine...he's his...he's somewhere else...somewhere else...not here...somewhere else...far away like the moon over Mahwah.

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