Here, where fire once raged
Our voice is diminished
As if our speech leaves through
Lungs weighing only of paper
And this trail we have carved
To stand next to old giants
With charred arms
Comes with symbols and words
Revealing deepened ruts
A string of infinite finites
With sunburnt shoulders
We watch the eyeless sun
That harsh gardener….
Pierce through a ghost canopy
Wishing to reclaim its spent dust
Thinking only of its collection
….Cold baubles of gravity
All witnessed by the moon
Who never blinks once
While we lay naked
Underneath its glow
In several forms of desire
Silver, blue, and crescent
Its face constantly upon us
That burning face in the night
We claim as eternal muse
And use as fire for the poetic
To lay upon Luna, leading us
To scramble and patch together
scrapings and scratches
Of a once noble fir
Which lies deep in our lush memories
The kid comes in, snaps a few photos of a living clutter, the retail store.
“We don’t have anything like this.” The standard review, spoken by the parent of the kid who shares the photo on Instagram, Facebook, or some other app.
The shop sits on a tilted, bottom floor, two blocks from the Willamette river, not wanting to budge from its spot.
The rest of the shanghaiing office building was abandoned long ago.
The old offices, upstairs, real ghosts, shades of what they used to be.
I write receipts in illegible handwriting, transfer them to yellow, college-ruled paper for inventory, translations of the ancient product.
There’s a million means to be misunderstood, just as many to understand. Two sides of love I recognize.
If there is a dead spot in a day, receipts rest. I read Dante’s “Inferno”.
Crawling through levels, until you reach something frozen, eating away, without regard
to what’s around it, all attention spent upon what is being chewed. Virgil and Dante crawl down/up the leg of the Devil, out of the ice, a double paradox.
“This must be a dream job.” The parent speaks again while buying the kid a logo T-shirt of the shop.
The kid looks hopeful, if he moves here, there’s a chance to reach paradise. He can go to college like his parents want him to, live the lifestyle he’s always dreamed of, get away from strip malls, advance placement classes, bullies, lovers, and parental expectations.
He has been misunderstood so many times. He desires to reach understanding. Two sides of love I recognize.
I smile, showing all my missing teeth and think of Virgil as I write up their receipt.
Cool kiss from the forest
Stirs an inner revival
Charged by its music
Fresh from the source
That drums upon rocks.
As if my very bones
Were strewn underneath
The stream of Orpheus
Whose rhythms sink
Past thirst, deep within
My core, my atomic spirit
Embedded in my soft clay.
I am as tall as shadows
Of family fir and cedar.
Old growth is in my pitch.
I cup my hands, tightly
Holding what all life desires.
My fingers are born
Into this song shape
Every ridge felt.
Fort To Sea Trail. March 2018
Holding it in, close, became a strength
An essence, a nugget, bloom’s heart
Shaped by chinks, cracks, and splits
Of a shell you wished was a softer hue.
Relinquished, expelled, produced a body
The lucid form of your careful ambiguity
From a cold clay, carved and baked
An Image of remedy, poison, and sacrifice