Early on the 13th
I heard the church bells down the street
I saw a reflection in my lover’s eyes
I caught the sun breaking through the curtains.
I thought of dedications and declarations
Hymns and poetry and movements like wine or ivy
All short enough to ensnare attention.
And I wondered if I’d found balance
Or if I’d stray like abstracts or jazz,
If I lit down in a country of romance
Would I meander like a fickle tourist?
Things crowded my mind
Early on the 13th.
Your morning soul is drenched in caffeine
And stained red with wine. Solemn cold and the grey sky –
A canvas for the motorised symphony of the streets.
And you sigh, turn on your phone, and watch the news on the TV
While you count the coins in your hand. You are sure that this
Will be a good day.
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
Lend me orchids, show me fire
One child, cherub, lyre.
Upon the rushing foam the petals lie
Like blue fragments in a silver eye
Watching from a sun burned cloud
This heart, a column that time wears down.
Who can follow my tracks in clay?
From my birth to my final day?
I leave my name to the ocean free
Words lost into eternity.
My fame inspires a cold stone grave:
“Here lies he without a name.”
And though Virgil, angels, spirits breathe
It remains as fleeting wind through the trees.
She smiled to see the sail boat go
In the fresh blue morning burned by the Caribbean sun
While lingering smoke from ashen torches
Plume like escaping dreams.
She can hear still so early in the day
The crowds of hidden people past the trees
That sway slowly in the cool breeze.
They chant prices, offer salvation,
Sing Greek songs from a thousand years gone.
She can feel the water in the air,
The echoing dew from the final moments of night.
Its morning, like any other.
Walking out of a yellow stone wall bar
With a half empty tequila in hand
Ice falling out of your pockets
A serviette sticking out your pants
A cigarette ½ a centimetre in your hair
A signed Polaroid of the dancer
Who works telephone operations in Detroit
Mexican night cap sombrero slender
Cat wailing night time driver got batteries
For the smoke alarm back home
His wife is 180 pounds and works at Macy’s
He’d mow his lawn if he had one
You look at him with disdain
Ash mingles with the tangles in your hair
A gnome waits outside with a pitchfork
And the happy accident of 85 rides in
On a chrome horse
Probably out of dice again long trip Reno in the rain
Naked beat drunk midnight train
Hollering moon unfortunate crow with teary eyes
Children hide behind grit grey blinds
With the lights on watching the late shows
While mother vomits, husband cleenex drain clean
Big bop band draws the scene
Picasso, Van Gough they got change for the subway
Pop penny’s in the cracked hand of gorillas
With furrowed brows lying on the streets base feet
Lined with leather shoes on 1905 pavement
On 5th street constructed with earnest in 1886
One month since the publication of the daily paper
Rats take shelter in the covers there children
Squeal with hunger, virginal daughter makes an offer
Passing light shines dull and devilish, it’s belief.
I have stopped by the faint light of night
To see the clock face moon high above
And the rich man’s tomb sunken and dark.
I’ve turned the pages of Melville in the cold
Passing strangers with scarred hands pleading
I kept on reading, walking to echoes speaking.
I could never say goodbye to my friends;
The tap of my heel is the only sound now.
This nocturne never strays from illumination.
My need to call to those that pass me by
Intensifies with each unsure breath I hear,
Everyone is scared, a welcome hand seems cruel.
I have walked blue streets in morning mist,
Sun kissed stars fade away one by one.
All feeling of true loneliness has gone.
There is a golden city at rest on the shore,
Its nature, its ballrooms of stars,
The cascading waterfall of riches in the soul.
You stand on the black sand
Reaching out to sea
As if to grasp my own hand.
But we both see the first frail branch of autumn
Spread across the horizon that severs us,
And we are sure that we are together –
We feel the same winds.