“I am bombarded yet I stand
I have been standing all my life in the
direct path of a battery of signals
the most accurately transmitted most
untranslatable language in the universe”
This is not the first time I have said that
I am going to drive east but only halfway
because halfway is where my destination lies like a
yellow picnic blanket next to a sort of
quaint stream where he fished and smoked and
lectured the dog when the dog would snuffle his
nose into the pouch of rolling tobacco
as the dog was wont to do and our dog
was wont to do it too.
There are some things that are so easy to know about him
that he could not hide them even with deliberate and
meticulous effort, things like
the color of those two stones one is a blue stone
one is green. The color of those shoes is I suppose
a point of some contention. The color of fifty percent
of his hair or twenty eight percent of his mustache or,
to diverge from this tumbling,
the color of my hair as a child for instance was
a very dark brown. And the color of my eyes as a child was
a very sludgy green. And I weighed eighty pounds as a child.
And I weighed forty five pounds as a child. And I wore collared shirts
with buttons and plaid caps backward and I slept beneath Hale-Bopp
beneath the roof of the car and I slept beneath oak trees beneath the nylon
of my father’s bike trailer and I slept in tents and
in one little bed, dreaming the simple quilted dreams that a child dreams.
The color of my childhood for instance was the color of
that quaint stream in Dodgeville, Wisconsin next to a yellow house
where a dog trots along with his nose low to the dirt and tail aloft.
And an orange cat finds another orange cat, as if fated, to summon up legions
of orange kittens.
And my uncle died in a hospital of Pneumonia.
This is many years after he planned his escape route to Canada.
This is many years after he planned his escape route to east,
but only halfway. A handwritten note painstakingly
cyphered read that he loved me because I said
read read read.
Read read read.
And if for instance I do not read very much anymore
because my body buzzes with fear and a little ghost won’t
let my mind settle into that imperative groove,
and if for instance I cannot make humble head
or tucked tail of my own teeming life,
well then it is time perhaps to go east but only halfway,
if only for a little moment and a very tiny paw.
The roof and the rifle, the thunderous summers
and steady perch of raw-bone knees