Highway 65

I hurt myself today/the only way I feel..

            Johnny’s voice haunted the Cadillac as it peeled down the interstate 70 miles an hour, with a geriatric rattle and bang, painting a fluorescent streak on the dark highway as Johnny’s retrospection reverberated in the passengers’ hearts. The smiling couple: the smooth man whistled, one hand on the wheel, another on her thigh.

            “71 with a single on the radio! The Illuminati have taken up straight razors (those that can grow a beard,) the rest mask their hairless chins with grandfather’s pipe (ashamed) as the girls knit afghans and sing in the lounge. Jazz is back, all the city boys take pride in their backwoods bluegrass, and (God forbid) Dub-step. Disco on acid! All these nomad loners and Bedouin princesses. It’s all very original.”

            A pearl of laughter. She moved his hand up her thigh.  “I’d take the bearded man over the beardless boy any-day. Positively ravishing (experience, that is.)” He chuckled.

           “I can introduce you to some older gents. The hair starts to go first (mind you), then the passion. Most of them are itching for it, snatching at a last hurrah (if you can stand the patches.)”

           “Patches! The darling professor with worn out elbows and a shiny brow. Ravishing!” She giggled. “Can you ever forgive my taste? I’m just another retro-romantic  on the road,  trying to outrun a wounded heart . Straight out of your essays. It takes a lungful of ash to fall for the man in black.” She stared out into the distance.

Pause.

          “I’ve given up as an essayist these days. My mind can only breeds poetry now. I’ve got one right now, sitting, waiting to be born, birthed into words by my tongue (if you’ll hear it.)”

          She smiled. “Only if it’s musty, covered in dust,  and pours from your lips like a half-filled ashtray.”

          He laughed. “It’s nothing of the sort. It’s flowery, tastes like plums, smells like a owl.”

          “Something fresh, but seemingly old?”

          “Exactly! But I’ve lost it now…

          They both stared out the window. Some stars could be made out through the clouds, but no moon. They passed several cars, were passed twice, and then the road opened to them, wide and free, like the curtain of an act with a backdrop of mountains—unmoving, it seemed—so far away as they were. A sign in the distance flickered MISSING ELDERLY, CALL EMERGENCY SERVICES. Orange cones sat on the side of the road as a sign of the construction, that perpetual improvement of the roadway so that more people could get where they were going, get there faster, with less turns and detours along the way.

Do you think we’ll be in love forever?/Do you think we’ll be in love?/Let’s take Jesus off the dashboard/got enough on his mind.

She startled his reverie. “Do you think they’re missing him (his family)?”

            After a pause. “No he went missing. Another empty room in the nursing home, but this one took his body with him and that threw them for a loop (the poor staff).” After a pause. “They’ll miss him when he’s gone, but he wasn’t in a nursing home because he was missed.”

             It started raining.

            “When did you become so jaded, Geoffrey? I thought this trip was going to be fun and get us away from all those dreary thoughts.”

            “So did I. It’s hard to outrun yourself.” He smiled. “I’ll just kick it up to 75.”

            She laughed. “Careful, this car rattles enough as is.”

            “If I was a cautious man, I wouldn’t have left and you wouldn’t have come with me.”

            Pause.

            “I know. It was just so flattering (the spontaneity.) How’s a girl refuse?”

            “Joan, if was a younger man…” He moved his hand again.

            “And if you weren’t?” She grinned.

            The world went in and out of focus with each beat of the windshield blades. Clear, rain, haze, clear again. The car flew down the highway without a trace, like a dry brush pushed against the page.

            “It’s no different at 65 than 25.” She said. “Same road; you just hit the end of the pavement and as it turns to gravel you only have a guess where you’re going, no better than you did at 25.”

            “Just a little worse for wear?”

            She touched his cheek. “Nonsense. Well aged, like wine.”

            “Or cheese.” He rebutted. She laughed.

Strangers in the night/two lonely people/we were strangers in the night.

            “Sinatra?” She asked with a smile.

            “No, some new guy singing Sinatra’s song.” He grimaced. “Sinatra was better.”

             “The old ones always are.” She winked. “Just another new old song.”

Not Just Another Coffeehouse

On the corner of green and berry
Excellence wafts endeared wimsy,

As the lip-puckered poets drag fingers around the rim
Of thoughts and vanity.

Red dress legs lean upon the balcony
Leering lust longings for the paint and pencil smudgers.

Johnny sits a rat-tat-tating in the lounge and sneers.
Jackie slides her fingers along your spine and the keyboard.

Haunting melodoxidies patronize the clientel.

(Source: ccmcconnell.blogspot.com)

La Noche Oscura

Darkness is the voice of death,
Warning you of your regrets.
Troubles come and troubles go,
But hopelessness can taint your soul.

It’s a long way to fall,
When you’ve built your tower tall.
Hanging roses on the walls,
As flowers fall.

Child, child, so small.
Don’t let worries take hold.

Child, child, so small.
Watch me pay your toll.

Turn your back on the man inside,
So your demons run and hide.
Fill your soul with the dark of night,
To glean the light of the other side.

Feel them rattlin’ chains,
Stone cracks at his name.
No longer a slave,
On the backside of the grave.

I lived for you,
Died for you,
Bled it through, it’s true.

Can you say love?

I lived for you,
Died for you,
Bled it through, it’s true.

Can you say love?

Child, child, so small.
Don’t let worries take hold.

RIP (The man in the meadow)

Won’t you
    be the leaves upon my tree,

Allowing me to breathe,

Breezy colors change so slow
                                        so slow
                                               so slow,

As I sleep in the meadow.

Won’t you
    be the waters of the sea,

Reflecting back at me,
All that I can dream,

As I fly
    through the sky,

As the clouds pass me by,
As the clouds pass me by.

The gaps in the clouds are my windows
                                                    looking down,

On the world below
                       passing round,

And though I’ll try my best
                             I’ll never know,

What waits in the meadow,
                        in the meadow,
                             in the meadow.

Down in the meadow
                         lying next to me,

A whispered voice spoke so sweetly,

Beneath my tree,
    Beside the sea,
          Lying next to me.

Won’t you,
    Clear your head for some time,

Leave your thoughts behind you
                                          for tonight,

Dance with me in the moonlight!

I want to hold you tightly through the night
                                                       hold me tight.

The gaps in the clouds are my windows
                                                         looking down,

On the world below
                     passing round,

And though I’ll try my best
                             I’ll never know,

What waits in the meadow,
                        in the meadow,
                             in the meadow.

As I awake
    from 20 years of sleep,

To pass the time so free
                                so free
                                     so free,

With the one lying next to me,

Beneath my tree,
    Beside the sea,
           Lying next to me,

In the meadow.

Drawn and Strung

My mangled picking fingers have plucked
the sharp teeth of the ground,

Those granite peaks and sandstoned
monoliths of sound,

When you set your feet to walking,

When you drop the hammered plow,

Sling your strings and draw your bow
to head upon the prowl,

Leave it all behind and then
the minstrel life will call.

Bamboozled!

My house was burgled last month and my computer was stolen, leading to a delay in posts. Thanks to everyone who bore with. It’s going to be some time before I can resume the typewriter series.

The Speaker for the Damned


For those who eke out a mean existence,
Beaten black by the hand dealt by fate,
Surprised by a glance of desire,
Gave all to the first to have loved,

For those who stand near with fists curled,
Waiting to strike in their father’s stead,
Those born into mirey neglect,
Whose loving is a sharing of wounds,

For those stuck between cracks and corners,
Wounded and waiting for depth,
With courage to pass through compunction,
To take the inevitable step,

For all these alike I cry WAIT!
Presume to melt hearts hardened made,
For I was a child just like these,
Called waiting, one died for my breath,

Here now I can love thee beside you,
Here now, laid to rest beside death.

Repose


An ocean breeze licking my brow,
These leathery knees, folded, form a lotus
as the mind withers, the soul rises freed.

A young couple laughs on the beach,
Experimenting: How do our fingertips align?
The breaker’s roll hides as lips touch.

Time is chilled and my bones start to creak,
Winter rears its head and love hunkers down
beside quiet rugs and mugs and hearths in delight.

Sand chafes these loins, lips—sunbleached—crack,
I lose focus as the tide smacks my thighs
and one tidal push draws me in to die.

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