in that the coil of my bed, so I recoiled, like an infant, but not one of course, curled up like a ball they say, but more like a fetus to be sure, that comfort, that curl, so natural, so alone in a sense as an adult, but still, the warmth, the comfort, must be inherent, not a fake, that is sure, in these days I curl up more and more, wishing for a campfire, and company, and none come, and I expect that to be, that way, but still, the form comforts me in this cold time of our humanity, spent, indoors, during this storm.
(a stream of consciousness post)
Is this really me, completely? I feel like a pilot, in a suit, in pursuit of… I’m not so sure anymore, more days, more time, for what? I speak of, I think of, lives past, no, not in the reincarnation sense, although it would seem I have had my cycles passed, I am in my current life, or phase, not defined by decades, no, more or less my surround, what is around, my circumstance, a stanza in time, in a sense, not clearly defined by lines, at least not as strict as haiku, but definitely with form, I have not learned, or grown to, or allowed myself to be myself completely without the forms of norm, does anyone? there were the early years, the carefree, the cage-free, the free range days, certainly, but, my memory is so sparse, was the freedom just a way to breeze through those times, not wanting to sit down in my mind and record such things? I barely remember anything prior to the age of ten, or maybe even twelve, a dozen or so things that stand the time, like perfect ruins, snapshots really, I recall my teens more well, but such a twisting-morphing-growing age, from day camp to college all in a daze, no… college was the third phase, maybe I am getting ahead of myself, that short span at rutgers, was definitely it’s own thing, as I remember those dorm days better than most prior, coed dorms the norm, cohosts at late night soirees, the grease trucks (specifically Mr C’s) near dawn, slapping together forty page papers in a storm of no-doze and jolt cola, one friend in particular whom I wished I maintained contact all these years, that was it’s own time, separate from the rest as I recall those moments best, even now, strangely, and then phase three, my florida years, the pinnacle of hope, early twenties when everything is there, so much fruit flowing that one could never imagine an orchard bare, or even such a place in winter, there was always sun, like some bad analogy or pun, christmas lights on palm trees, and her, my love, the anchor on my heart all these years, but also the picture of a perfect flower, smiling – undeterred by the cracked earth of a dessert planted, no, that much has not faded, a dualogy that haunts me to this day, some would say, don’t let it, for yes I have tried to travel that forgetful path, I have, but it has done me no good or lifted the cargo, now phase five, in life, just seems as if I am on a ride, just riding out the time, pushing forward in a circle, all advice on paper, print and speech says move on, and I have, as much as I can, but I can not shake the past, no matter what I do, sometimes I think why bother, and accept the way, I can refurnish the room, paint the walls, change the carpet, but the room remains, I just have to see if in the next phase things will change, I’m not so sure as this has been the longest phase to date, but one never knows, will I find the providence to lead me to elysian pastures, and they might just be around the next corner bend, so I go, so I go.
hello my old friend, been awhile since we spent some time…
the relentless tide of cold has relented, and the world seems to be stirring from her slumber, some number of months now since I sat here, for this simple pleasure, inhaling and sampling the entirety of my immediate native surroundings, to sit and unpack my thoughts, a bird burst from a box, here I am again, alone, outside, starry night, full moon bright stained with a wisp of haze, a furrowed cloud line struck at a twenty degree angle beneath the face from right to left, as if to add an underline to the moon itself, “what a silly thing to do” I quip to myself, in a voice only I have ever heard, yes though, sound has slowly found a way back in to this since empty hall, as the blanket of snow retreats, lawns revealed peeking groggy gates, “ten more minutes mom”, “well, you have ’til march” (which is coming soon, certainly the next number to come up at the deli counter for order), what a strange year this has been, could I have prophesied such an entangled ride? no, for surely not, but here we are, on the promising precipice of another spring, as my family still mourns the king, and there is no natural ascension to the throne known, no writ of delegation, time will take care of that coronation, I suppose, so I wait, I have learned to have more patience these days but time still seems to roll over at break-neck pace, I can feel the itch and twitch of the hand moving, listening closely I can hear the gears turning in ever-forward motion, there is no pause, no rest, save that- one, there is no pause, just little valleys like these moments, like these when I sit among the trees pretending to be, waiting for them to bloom again, to show me the way, as ever seasons to better days – ahead. and this brings the calms of psalms, to the house of my residing soul.
new year drive
up that same stretch
the same pavement
different constructions signs perhaps
the same general perception
some time has passed
enough to grow a beard, maybe
slightly longer than that
there is a different feel
yet the birds still sway
back and forth over the meadowlands
over the roadway
like giant hollow swings
billboards, toll booths
wet with new year rain
the same as last year’s rain
as far as I can tell –
I await for a thread of sunshine
notes: this is a feel thing, this was my first day back at the office in a month, since I had covid and since my father passed, you almost expect the world to be different, you feel different, you look at things differently, but everything else, feels the same or acts that way, so I wanted this work to be… mundane…
how subtly we move down the long table, a feast with our family, different times of the year feel the same in here, time is somewhere peering in with jealous eyes. knowing at some point we will venture outside again, once small children (so I recall) are now here at the main table as adults grown up, their kids at the small one or running around, the parade of cousins, aunts, uncles and those married in moves on, the table has swelled all these years, I always knew, but never saw the subtraction coming as I do now, this soon, expected at some point, sure, but never on my side, in my direct row of chairs, a reckoning, for this is the way life is, I suppose we all hold onto untouchable belief, even in the sheer face of the inevitability, the reality, maybe we are fools but I would rather side on the side of belief against all and embrace that fool of myself, for what else can we do, pass the potatoes down and share a drink or two, a sliding moment of smiles, a flash of stories brought out like seasonal accouterments, as the actuality of the tales seem, and are, further off in the distance, for perhaps this is the time of my reckoning, at least as I slide chairs, as the elders inevitably become phantoms, one by one, some by some, so, all the more – stop and enjoy the spectacle, the pageant, the miracle, the banquet of life while the fruit is ripe, the buffet is vast and the glasses full, a moment to take in, as I approach the land of reckoning, not for myself, just yet, but I see, and feel, the coming of the sunset for the generation I am replacing in line next as I move toward the end of the table, may I carry such yoke with dignity and humanity – and love.
so there I was…
riding off into the sunset, um, ok, driving into the sunset, coming back from my first covid test, been lucky to avoid the arrows until now but a couple of coworkers tested positive so these are the times we are living in, enough about that really, more about the sunset, sure, we are not talking shoreline paradise here, route 1 south in edison nj, but somehow, someway all that dropped south of my view, a really nice near perfect orange half a globe sitting there on the horizon, I must have been travelling near due west, well, maybe slightly to the left, this time of year the light is not blinding, well, mostly, so I was literally driving into the sunset, a smile came upon my face, I mean, if this was my last moment, why not go out with a grin, I can’t complain about my time, sure, I would like more, and probably have plenty more, but some day, sooner than I can contemplate, the world will be tired of me, and fate will dial up my number one last time, so why not do it with a grin?
I merge onto the garden state, just to jump a couple of exits rather than deal with all the local lights, I need only stay in the right lane, not even a mile once I am on, why in the world is their traffic at this hour, ah, I can just wait it out, it is not bumper to bumper but is certainly not the open flow I was expecting to go, I could jump a lane over, ah, c’mon man, relax, not that far to go, apparently not for some of those in front of me, jumping ships, or lanes and then I see it, my exit and also the slow culprit, what are the odds they are getting off at my exit? ahhh, you’ve seen this movie before, me too, 990% chance they are going my way, thankfully I am still wearing my sunrise smile and am just amused at the situation, other days maybe, other days I might have lit up like a firecracker enraged, but today? nah, lucky him, well, I can’t say him, in fact, the car in front of me looks quite empty, whomever is driving is tiny, or invisible, probably just short, I know it can’t be an automated car, to my recollection late 90’s corrollas did not come with that feature, now, off my exit there is two ways you can go, of course slowrolla is going my way (turn signal? not so much), I am laughing now, I am not sure if the people behind me are as amused but, hey, this is my blog story man, get your own! of course the first right is my turn… and the auto car turns, of course, I finally lose the person (assumption, you never know) near the home stretch, only a couple of more turns to go… I suppose I missed the baton hand off, because slowrolla has a relative, or a cohort, a partner in this crime, with a mercedes SUV, at least this looks occupied, and it also occupies the whole road, I never understood compensating for parked cars by driving on the wrong side of the road, must be me, on some other day I might be loosing my mind, but today? I’m in on the joke it seems, the slowcedes turns off literally the street before mine, “here ya go, a little scrap a tidbit” the world says to me as at least the way to my driveway was clear, I park, shake my head for a second at the absurdity, and retire inside to write this piece, still with that dumb grin shellacked on my face, from that sun that has gone under by the time this is done.
notes… not just because this post is Epic, well. it probably isn’t, but I am just on a FNM kick lately, Angel Dust is my jam, one of the best weird albums ever made that kind of made in mainstream.. of course I am partial to Mr. Bungle but what do I know…
from minute to minute, I suppose, I can not track my mind to the finish line, I do enjoy the comfort of snuggling burying into bed, fetal form, to gather warmth, or throw on that old cape may sweatshirt, the elastics at the sleeves have seen better days flapping loose like old flagpole lines @ the shore, but of course this sweatshirt comes equipped with a joey pouch for my hands, I walk out to take out the trash to the assigned bins, ‘hello, mr. winter‘
for I feel his breath on any and all exposed flesh, after last night’s raging gale, there is really little doubt, perhaps a spring like day might mount here or there, but not for long, the trees are close to bare, the town has come and picked up all the leaves left out, the wind meets little resistance now, across this land, I pause, the late afternoon sun now matches what colors there are left around, a snapshot, it will seem like hours and all will be gone, barren, the steady march into soft sleep, hunker down, the days grow short as the sun is just that more out of reach, other sources of warmth become the key, hunker down, soon, the white age of morning captures the dew, clothing and rituals will change, a trade for hot soup from lemonade, the shore becomes still, silent, empty, how things seem so much more empty when the crowds are gone, I wonder what the gulls think, they vote with their feet and beaks, they have moved into the suburbs and the towns, I wonder if those strip mall birds think lowly of their beachbound herds, trading a parking lot for the roar of the sea, I suppose survival is the more preferred aesthetic, but what do I know of birds, only what I observe, tonight in tongues comes a frost, a blanket, an incantation, a charm of making, that white beard that conceals the color green until what is left of the sun warms just enough, you can never plug all the holes of inevitable, surely, all comes falling down if you try to stem the tide by self as a boy, better to gradually be seduced than to outright drown, I dream of the beach in winter, so here my dream walks.
the howling winds
yes, the cliché, like a freight train, but I must say, whoever coined that phrase, was quite correct, I saw the line coming in on radar, somewhere over Dingman’s Ferry just an hour ago, now, as predicted quite sitting, over my homestead, I sat out for a bit, enjoying the sheer raw power wind, found a spot not quite so wet to take it all in, seeing my newly planted bamboo bent and flailing about surely gave me pause, but things and trees have to learn after-all, I did however batten down whatever hatches I could, the reports of 60 miles per hour received and understood – and felt, what few leaves survived the autumn culling will surely not survive the night, and thirties temp in the forecast later certainly have snuffed out any oxygen left in hopeful lungs of summer, or spring, or whenever this began, the holidays and days that never were, the stalking virus seemingly an eraser of time (where did easter, 4th of july or halloween go?), things changed in a blink, kind of standardized but never slowed down, for children I suppose it might be worse, a stolen summer, a time in life never to be realized, how important things like 9th grade or 8th grade seemed, a prom missed, and there were, no second chances there, children have such strict avenues until they are out in the world embarking in their own canoes down that river… the roaring continues, but now rain has come to play, no place safe, well, no place dry to stay, save indoors, so I retreat, still, I open my window just enough, to invite a piece of the tempest thus, the TV is out, all the better, I have power, tough life I have no doubt, I can only imagine the spectacle such a whip coming through caused in a frontier house of old, wind finding every little crevice and racing through infiltrating, gas lit lamps flickering, threatening to go out and bring the dark veil, huddled in a patchwork waiting for the wind to die down, I romanticize this scene, only because secretly I know my modern convenience provides me the protection to watch the beast thrash about like I am watching some show, the sound though, the sound, my eyes deceive me as I watch a car drive down the street with no sound, I am sure the sound is in there, somewhere, in the blender, but damn if I can make it out, all there is, is nature’s voice, a roar, a throaty steady bellow racing through the leaves fallen at varying pace, stalks touching toes, why does this enthrall me so? maybe I am jealous, I can not conjure such magnificence, I only get to be a witness, but such things are better than not being here at all.
(note to any new readers: this particular series is all stream of consciousness that I write off the cuff in one take, so take it as thus)
sometimes the old way of doing something is therapeutic, or am I being the old man where balls disappear because the kids are afraid to go near his yard, is that even a thing anymore? kids can explore whole alien worlds without leaving their room, has the simple joy of a bat and a ball been lost or diminished? not a moral judgement, it is a silly thing to try and drag the past into the now, things change, some for better, some for worse, some for we have no clue, but raking- something so ancient, well, as old as we are on this truly aged world that is, there is something about raking leaves, the rustle, the sweetly slight decay scent in the air from the bottom layers as you peel them away, thrush- thrush- thrush-, like a rolling airy-loose wave into a pile they flush as you go, the subtle vibration of the rake in your hands as it scrapes the scape, in this case, the old thin style, only good for raking things lightly, the head of the thing has seen better days, held in place by crooked bent nails, but this base technology still works fine, a stick with some tines, and there is satisfaction in the chore, there is just enough chill in the air to block any sweat from forming, there is just enough sun to warrant short sleeves and feel the waning warmth on your skin for at least one more day, a leaf blower is just not as satisfying (even if gratifying and practical), plus, they are loud whining machines of arcing crescendos, even the electric ones, maybe it is because I am raking on a sunday, the off day, I want to hear and feel the very pulse of fall not some infernal machine… rake… let the memories seep in, huge piles of leaves to dive in and feel the crinkle… thrush- thrush- thrush-, the satisfaction of building up a huge bunch, gazing up @ the trees to estimate the next delivery, fall is generally very quiet, except the squirrels, they are too easy to track racing through the downed leaves, most birds have gone south already, so here I am, just table setting for the coming winter, cleaning up the lost purveyors of shade, for their job is done now, I’m sure parts of me will ache tomorrow, but in a good way, in a good fashion, doing things the old way, connection to the simple, to the past, and there is satisfaction there, in something like this, raking.
so last night was not a dream (damn), this morning the wet sheen from the previous was quite white, well, opaque maybe, the lawn glossed over with a uniform one coat of ice, for once the lawn is one color, not a patchwork of the various greens of invasive grasses mated with the varieties I actually planted over these odd years, the uniformity and reflectivity of light is a sight to hold onto, if I didn’t have to get to work that is, so I soak in what I can for a minute, and hop in my car, that same loveliness adorning my lawn you ask? well, not so lovely anymore hanging on the windows of the car, damn I didn’t think of using the remote start thing on my phone, mantra: you don’t have a tube TV anymore, you don’t have a tube TV anymore, maybe that dates me… you don’t have a 56k modem anymore, you don’t have a 56k modem anymore, say it with me now folks, anyway, you get the gist, so, I flip on the heated seat (if you have the means, I highly recommend them), and the defroster, could life be any easier? I do find some amazement that time bends in these situations, I mean, not actually, but our perception might like a geller spoon, or is it the mind that bends, et tu neo? how easily my perfectly laid plans are thrown askew by a bit of frozen dew, inch by inch up from the bottom of the windshield retreating like ice sheets after an ice age, majestic too some, less majestic in this form, but much the same process, sans the boulders dragging out lake beds and the like, every inch is an eternity, I flick my wipers to hasten the process, why does the back window defrost so damn fast? I suppose I could drive backwards to work, maybe if I was a movie star, but I’m not (yet…), my stress is amp-ing up a touch (or two), I must admit, I hate being late even when it is of no consequence, this resides, in my wiring, in the code, the programming base, and then I chance look out to my right, my bum all warm and cozy now, look out the passenger window, and see that beautiful blanket on my lawn, stretching like a treaty across all my neighbors as well, and calm, I feel calm.