Been a long time.
“The Lights Go Off”
From the golden towers view
A light goes on in the Spanish embassy
and a few stars make cameos in a city sky.
I can hear when a garbage trucks coming
And silence includes the vents on top of townhouses below.
The buses slow down for passengers waiting in the dark
and I could literally count the number of lights on in the surrounding apartment buildings.
How strange that the unnecessary lights stay on now through the whole night but a damn lot of it and at some point someone figures no one islooking anymore.
Obviously someone is and it turns out:
12:30 is the hour the lights go off.
The warmth of the day seems to rush by
in what seems to be a flash of wind
just perfectly as the sun disappears.
Branches on trees highlighted,
an eye drawn to the golden glow
shimming with long dark shadows.
How the world was it’s easiest to look at,
the sun gazed upon with no remorse.
I felt the cold air run over my skin
pushing out the last debris of the sun.
I loved the moon over head,
realizing it’s there for the first time,
and how in those last daylight hours,
it looked like it had been cut in half.
From One Place
The sailor approached me one day,
he said he’d been at sea for weeks
and was never in one port for more than a few days.
This was his sixth or seventh stop,
the Port calls just seemed to bleed together.
He asked if I would show him around town,
after all, I’d been told he was coming weeks earlier
when his sister sent me a letter.
Her brother was coming to my town,
a sailor on a merchant ship.
If I could put him up for a day,
he’d surely love to see something
other than the bowels of that boat.
It was the last letter I’d get from her.
After months of exchanging letters,
maybe it’d even been a year,
there’d been a month without a note exchanged,
that there was nothing that the other needed to know.
We’d only started writing when I’d come here,
leaving behind the cobblestone streets of the city.
We’d grown close fast,
spending three nights in May
as I prepared a bag for the summer move,
which became a year.
We talked about why I’d chosen to leave,
the advantages and disadvantages.
I told her I was leaving to escape the people,
the congestion and anonymity.
I’d lived there fifteen years after all,
having moved there from back East.
I was from the Coast there,
a town that was dominated by its shoreline.
Growing up there,
it all felt so much like where I’d come,
and that first escape from urban life
hadn’t even happened at all,
I’d only told myself.
So when I had a visitor that one afternoon,
the woman’s brother, the sailor,
I knew it was time to leave.
As we remove
ourselves from this two-karat town
and slip off between hills
just barely in the distance
that separates the chartered
and the still virgin,
we’re moving faster than the light which leads us.
Questioning when we will
finally reach it
never crosses our faint minds
and we slip into a coinsciousness
that we all once knew
but thought was lost
in cities and suburbia’s
and through the veil of light.
But here it is again,
creating the dimmest of shadows
from all directions
above the horizon.
The stars are not distant,
just placed around the curtain
of the sky with different powers.
In my yard
small children playing
running around unmindful of time.
Cars passing by
as the children run around,
unprotected and careless,
they will stay there till they are told to come in.
They’re moments are only those
between those set for them.
Small children falling down,
They can’t tie shoes,
make their own plans,
they are falling from everything,
Mother’s are appearing,
through perfect guises:
from distances it looks good.
And they call their children one by one,
until one child stay playing,
bouncing balls to no one.
Imagining himself as two children.
The Moot Hours
From my perch I do not need a clock,
the evolving sounds of the streets below
tell me when the day is starting.
And the hours of the middle of the night,
like those hours in the middle of the day,
are a wash, merely the hours between
a start and an end – and those,
being the only hours we truly need,
are marked by the roar or silence
in the streets below me.
And if I drew these blinds,
the golden light
would not tell me if it were dying
or birthing, and the moment would be moot.
These hours have been trying,
taxing on me like weight on a bridge,
dipping me down,
but not enough to notice with eyes.
Below, I trace a car with my ears,
from the lower numbers to the higher,
as it lashes out against the quiet
like an accidental revolutionary.
Someone is angry down there,
and without enough time to discuss
or ponder or develop new ideas
for this very new situation,
and simple “honk” works,
and rarely does a sound have a meaning,
let alone so many of them,
but it means that there are people
going to one place or another,
And this only happens during those starting
and ending hours,
and so I do not need a clock
to know what time it is.
home sweet home.
Three hundered sixty miles West of Omaha
and I’ve become irritable
in the Southern Bluffs of Nebraska.
I’d not even seen a sign.
I phoned someone to ask about time zones
and the arbitrary lines that never exist?
And I thought of a house
on a flat road
with miles of land,
on land that is wavering
like a flag,
frozen in one wave, literally.
And the house is on one such line
and the father wakes at seven.
His children rise at the same time,
only its eight.
And the wife goes to church at ten,
an hour after everyone else
has been there for an hour.
And each year they run
from the living room to the kitchen
and feel the New Year twice.
And they grow tired and move away
and some other family comes in,
charmed and laughing,
And I could make them say no,
to walk away,
sidestepping years of anger
and a tiring joke.
And their story ends quickly,
because my eyes have moved beyond
the house I took for theirs.