One Spin Around

She’s not the one you know

Not from long ago

Those ancient structures gone

The timing was all wrong

 

Arrows missed their mark

Mixed with heavy spark

Gone is all despair

Lost in exosphere 

 

—-No need to remember, she feels the spin around

 

Searching lower lands

Among forgotten hands

She is an island now

That’s all she will allow

 

She lives above the dust

Beyond the fragile crust

Painting in new hues

She’s not the one you knew

 

—-No need to recall, she feels, new shapes abound

 

She’s not the one you know

Her thoughts like seeds have grown

Scraping clouds and sky

We know the reasons why

 

The ground beneath is rough

Scorched by heavy touch

She shapes old clay that’s cold

It’s she that wills the mold

 

-No need to go back, she feels what she has found

 

 

(Art by Elan. Click on image to enlarge. More found here.)

 

 

 

Mountain Rain

Up here, the rain might not end. The mountains yank it down.

Leaves, thistles, and remnants of yarrow, who only months ago relinquished their hold on the land, now find themselves pummeled into a wet carpet.

You walk cautiously.

You think of snow.

A crazy thought but a real one, envisioning light flakes floating down, forming a subtle comfort, evenly spread.

It’s not a surprising thought, for all you see across the surface of the lake is rain…a driving rain, moving horizontally…as if it’s a mad ghost, curling up the mountains, whipping trees, challenging their stoicism, lifting you off your feet, slightly, with every surge.

It’s that small perceptible feeling of not being grounded that moves your imagination into other thoughts.

It envisions a fall, down the side of the mountains, the rain having swept you off your feet. Your stomach turns. Here, alone, you become afraid and when you see your fear, you laugh. A laugh different than the laughter you’re known for.

You walk cautiously.

You want to get angry

Angry back at the rain, for pulling you away…apart…unsettling your warmth down to a shiver. 

You walk cautiously and look down while the rain hits the back of your coat’s hood.

The old leaves beneath your feet shimmer and you see your feet are planted firmly on the ground.

 

 

 

 

Cold Floor

Cold Floor

The dust scurries, moves, hides

My fingers take the pulse of linoleum

Wax, dirt, desire, finish, surface, sealer, room

Remnants of a shine, dried bugs, skeleton specks

We were the warmth, the life, the struggle, the stumble

Lying there as outlines of life, to live, to grasp, to want all

I turn my palm upwards, as if to control something that’s gone

Wasn’t the air the heaviest that night? It pressed us down, held us

What we left is now unlocked—floor-less space— abandoned, for rent

 

Cold Floor

As if it has misplaced the words

My spine. I cannot lay flat upon you

Your plastic skin has been manufactured

Pain was not real, that night, or any other night

Only sweat, evaporating quickly, losing all speech

Lost all signs, signifiers, meaning and meat, bone and skin

We are candy wrappers skinned sweet, scent of survival absurd

We could not stay there, it isn’t ours, it belongs to larger rooms, housed

Tile that mingles, holding galaxies, universes at bay, the floor is spinning

 

Cold floor

My feet are getting dirtier, dirtier

We cleaned together, clung to our heaviness

I am a crumpled paper, phone number named me

Our bodies—gravity, whirled—beneath polished sim skin

Sunk in masks—pushed up, propping an arm upon us all

We came here for the moments, motions, our starving plans

Pieces of tile, adhered, adorned, measured, while yet becoming

Worlds are found in rooms, they are claws scratching, patch of tile

We remember the feeling of the room, the air, our bodies, the cool, cool, cool, cool

 

 

(Art from Twin Lakes, Oregon)

Weathered Shirts

He wears rocker shirts. Wears one for a couple weeks straight. Mötley Crüe, Maiden, Def Leppard. After a while, they turn into a fuzzy beige, frayed, stretched, slept in. Matches his forehead above them, receding hairline, exposing a weathered field of grease and veins. The long hair is still there, a combed back frizz. It’s the kept memory of a youth who embraced worn Levi’s, cheap wine, water pipes snuck into arena shows. The hipsters copy his look. Except, they get mullets and paint their fingernails.

He keeps 66 compact discs under his bed. Aerosmith skips on Dream On. He looks for a replacement. It’s a desperate need easily solved, but for some unclear reason, doesn’t.

Outside his room the fall leaves scatter in confusion, caught inside an undetermined wind. Fall can’t decide what it wants to do. There are large algae blooms in lakes and ponds. Warmer days sneak in, sandwiched between dry, cold stretches. A haziness lingers about, resembles phosphorus.

He has lost the ability to stand without losing his balance. Somehow, his shirts steady him. Don’t ask me why. 

 

 

 

 

Ruins Near A Waterfall

Snippets of blue and clouds

Poke through rafters

That once held meaning.

Still, something walks

Within the ruins

Weathered old boots…and

Ashen hands, brushing

Stone, steel, and rust

Feeling along debris

As if it were night

In the summer shade.

 

Outside, where tourists

Muffle the sound of the falls.

Young summer types

Adorned in shimmering

Glacier melt, current dripping

From plump elbows

Dash about, in the radiance. 

Look from the open air 

Into worn out windows

Unaware of how much

Walking ghosts do.

 

 

 

The 99 Cent Lady

Her eyes…opaque. If you look into them, she won’t return your greeting. Her sight fixes upon someone who’s not there, as if the air holds a face that no one can see except for her.

In words you don’t trust, she tells you what she sees…the symmetry of shapes, the mistakes of nature, the movement of lips when they sing, the spin of a record playing a song she wishes to forget but aches to listen to…the curl of a handwritten name.

She tells you these things…and when she speaks it’s lucid…as if she’s telling that person, who’s not there, the very thing they need to hear.

 

 

 

(Image entitled Blue Unravelled. Click on it)

 

Wishpoosh

Denny and I, with his Wasco legs, inside Gifford Pinchot…

Late, when the dust of the gravel road settles, fast, into black…

We cup our hands, to make an old whistle, like the hoot of an owl

To settle our minds, to settle our fears, of the directionless twirl of sky…

Upon hearing the tones from our small soft hands, deer stand still, freeze

Their black pool eyes, resolved, never leave our movements…

And the stars we see above the maze of Douglas Fir

Are old stories still being told anew…

Our voices, with purpose, retell them to each other.

Looking For Goldilocks

 

We’re measuring distant planets

By the flutter of their stars

By the flicker of the light

That lies

Next to their circumference

 

Abstracting them down

Into analyzation

Bringing them up to surface

Through <code> </code>

To words, pictures, and meanings

 

To read them aloud and aloof

To write them as extensible language

Copy and paste our findings

Upon the script

Of our own atmosphere

Marked up upon our own globe

 

Which sits conveniently

Within grasp for a spin

On the table in the study

Next to the books

Where blue whirls by

With a few rearranging squares

Rectangles, lakes and islands

Fighting for eye contact

 

We keep our fingertips, lightly

Upon the smooth cold metal surface

Enjoying the texture

As it twists

Through our touch

 

(image. An unfinished project)

 

 

 

Tectonic Plates

Cathy is in the twilight heat

Before the summer night

Moves like tectonic plates.

She tells me stories

Of shooting people in Vietnam

During the war

 

The rifle she used is under her bed.

I saw it when she asked me

To feed Molly while on vacation,

Cathy took her wife to Canada

To watch the dwindling caribou migrate.

 

It’s such a plain rifle, worn

Its wood stain nearly all rubbed off

The barrel dull, black and textured.

She drives hundreds of miles

To watch the caribou.

 

Cathy is in the twilight heat.

The sun is an orange throb.

She tells me how she used to hunt,

Southeast Oregon, Steens Mountain

Hauled back all of the animal

Limb by limb, organ by organ

Buckets of blood and fat.

 

I don’t like it when the sunrise is hazy

Cathy throws seeds to two blue jay parents

They’re always uptight, worried,

Especially when Molly chews grass near them.

A grey squirrel gnaws on antlers

In Cathy’s backyard. Antlers decades old.

A sprinkler chases the drought. 

 

 

Cape Disappointment

Here,

Saddle Mountain from a distance is a few uneven bumps. The jetties appear as pencil marks, drawn outwards towards the sea. The river wants to keep going, to stretch beyond the haze.

 A few old growths dot the forest, challenging the wind. They’re loners in a crowd of confused youngsters, hanging onto tales, their bark scoured by rain and salt. I lay a hand upon their exposed skin, smooth, cracked.

 Here,

A tattooed girl asks if it’s okay, to break coast guard rules, to continue on, past where the trail is closed, to have a look at Deadman’s Hollow. I smile. No dead men there, just ghosts of ships, who have no souls until their names have been wrecked.

I tell her of swimming the Columbia, dog paddling into sand drifts, frightened, thinking I’ve bumped into a river creature. Then, after feeling the silt move cool between my fingers, calm down. The current plays with this muck, flying apart, then glues it back together. Deadly for ships. I’ve stood upon many, walking, shin deep, in the middle of the watercourse like a river rat Jesus.

Until large ships make their way through the dredged parts of the channel, carrying cars, toys, particle board furniture, and microfiber pants. Their wakes knock me off my river dance. Fallen, I swim with the current, sideways, grasping the mud of the soft shore.

 Here,

I think of ship skeletons and the tattooed girl who looks for all the things she will know.

 

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