Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sadder Than Guess Work

Sitting through the argument with the day,
I still hear the scraping
of celluloid picks
against the strings,
electric guitars hysterical
at the afternoon traffic
that feeds the habits of a nation
cursed with a million dreams of desire.

What happens
when I dial numbers
expecting you to be there,
staring at magazines
through magnifying glasses,
talk radio filling the kitchen,
the list of your medicines
taped to the refrigerator door,
your handwriting
large like loops of
loose thread?

The phone rings and,
in the emptiness,
I imagine the dining room
you'd walk through to get it.

I let it ring for minutes
on end, to make sure you' re not home.

Coming and going
on the streets
of scattered small towns
are desires driving themselves
insane, drivers behind wheels
at traffic lights
arguing against the fact
that there is no place
they have to be
when the sun sets,
a destination is
removed from their lives.

We talk back to
the radio,
snarl at dial tones,
all our phones keep
ringing forever in the orbits of atoms
threading together the fabric
and excuse of our material world.
I can't even smoke
in my own car because
nothing burns in a vacuum,
you'll never be home again,
the  fact itches like insect bites
in the seams of my shirt,
night is like a closing of eyes
when what's out there is
sadder than guess work.

Heaven of Cracks

Where nothing happens to anyone
is a heaven of
cracks to fall between

or rise up to
if you're in
bed staring at the ceiling
between fits of sleep
that grind
like gears of engines
motor-vating through sand
and replays of the last
word you didn't
with a clerk
or someone else
who looked at you funny as the elevator shut,
or the car door shut
or the
door to the men's room shut,

It doesn't matter, it's always a door that closes in your face
you're speaking.

A heaven of cracks that might a passage
 between craggy mountain ranges
to the Eden
where all the totems work,
like jars of water
on front lawns,
scarecrows in
fields of dead corn,
candles to light in church for a coin,
guns with no bullet chambers,
and gangbangers doing a crossword,
pillows that don't
like girl friends who told me to leave the apartment that had their name on the lease,
another door closing,

can't escape that,
the phone ringing,
late for work again,

can't escape that either.