Ragged storm! With the voice and demeanour
Of God, do you encircle me for judgement?
Are my sins a veil to lose me between worlds?
I am only one among many servants
That fell to the serpent’s way,
Outcast from the dregs of empire
That, like a plague, covers the world in a more
Vengeful darkness than thee.
Now I stand helpless to your claws
And the lashing rain that cleanses us
And the torn lightning that whips us.
Towards the darkling plume we sail
And I wonder if we deserve to see the day again.
Da Vinci, looking into the dark canal
Deep beneath the ebbing stars and moon,
Catches sight of a woman standing
Faded grey, proud, and drowning
In the empire lost below the sea.
My fate is to look down a dusty dirt road in the hot Texas sun with a pale cowboy hat on my head and a blue shirt torn by the rocks from the outlying badlands, all with an air of anticipation and wonder as to what my next action will be or whether or not i’ll get any dustier in this dusty desert (The desert may be a metaphor for ‘life’ but who knows!?) there’s a buzzard above scouting for his friends so i best ditch my stolen sheriffs badge and mosey on back to the old chicken shack called home.
what was this?
Were i to have sat there two minutes prior
i would not have met you
and i wouldn’t have been left brokenhearted
on the back of the 192.
I was under no illusions as we escaped the city
Watching the night and lost in the wisps of live music.
I thought of the Jetstream of the 60’s dream
A concrete moment in 1967 that cracked by December
When flats grew cold and the hippies froze
Then the dream deferred leapt into the sordid 90’s
When cockroach parliamentarians were as drunk as Withnail
And I saw the final remnants of peace and love in
The cocaine afterglow of cool Britannia
With flags plastered on champagne skin
And close fitting ribcages. I snapped from my remembrances
And naïve theorizing as the motorway lights blinded me
And I grasped my knees in fear thinking
‘Oh god’ but father began to harmonize as I considered
The majesty and mechanics of Nick Drakes right hand
Whispering William Blake innocence in the haze of Jane in autumn.
No need for obsolete baroque impersonations
The fashions of a company bleed into the rebellion
Streaming through the veins of psychedelic teens
Who wear bellbottom jeans to compensate for lack of personality
Could I borrow something as simple as a cigarette?
A line of code or a coda in the delicate prayer of jazz?
Or can I weave words into days, hours into ribbons,
Dresses into snow. Sudden stops. Can’t see
The traffic cones five feet in front of me
Sudden burst, could cold thought
Be any cheaper in city brains?
False nihilism, dust on wooden floors
A disease tended to with ennui
And nobody stops to care.
Thin stray cat stops and stares at me
In the haze of early morning;
Car wash shower mist over the fence
And autumn pine smell in the air.
Cold eyes green and bright
Motionless limbs and twitching ears,
No lights in windows yet,
Cars have not left their driveways.
I am stood still
Been a while since I’ve seen a cat,
But I’m running late.
I take a step
A rock turned
A molecule or two slides to the side,
The cat lightly runs away
Into the driveway
We were more than just friends
We were scorpions with tails linked.
We were venom spilled and mixed.
Our reclusive bodies
Made reputations of our souls.
We mingled in the air like smoke
And stood out like blue.
We were the belladonna in the ruins,
We were the heroin in the river.
We lay side by side,
And locked each other in thought.
It wasn’t long
Before our passion burned
And disappeared like paper.
Minnesota stoners speak
Like hard bop jazz,
With echoes of the cool
Blowing down a frozen trail.
Bruised orchids take the streets at night.
They are almost always drunk. They proclaim:
“I am Beautiful!” and their companion laughs.
And upon these words reaching me
Somewhere further on up the street
I say to myself: “I am beautiful too,”
Quietly, so no one will hear.
Snow, like a waterfall in angelic form,
Or like stars drunken and moved to dance.
Jagged air carries these sprites
Across an ocean of winter night
Until they are laid on the earth
And are at rest.