The death of a moon cowboy

I am a somewhat-youth with ideas and thoughts and too many dreams that sometimes overflow as these little dribblings from my fingertips. I guess you can try to collect and capture them.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Malt Shoppe 3:00 AM

So I wait for you,
accordion straw in a cold shake,
with granules of ice and thick with cream,
watching them from across the counter.
And how she laughs,
keeps one hand on his knee,
and he in turn reaches to slip his arm
over one soft shoulder.
You must have forgotten,
been distracted, unaware of time.
("He has patience, it doesn't matter much,"
the contents of your thoughts.)
They sip together with dual straws
in one towering fountain glass.
Hands clasped I'm sure, under the tabletop,
thumbs locked in gentle caress.
The clock refuses to pause,
to wait, though I've willed it
to forget to advance, to ignore the silent
ticking of its own hands.
I watch as her eyes remain,
never wavering, a subtle stare
of devotion into his ochre eyes, his sickly eyes,
those eyes that I hate.

For there is no hope in mine,
not with you there across the counter,
your head unturned, never looking back, not once.
You have forgotten,
in memories I never inhabited. Idly I stir the
frothy contents of my deliquescence.
Like myself, dissolved,
marked by the invisible assailants of morosity,
divining loss for all.
For him.
For you.

Monday, February 13, 2006

For me to give

Smile, and fuel the flames that keep me warm
through all these winters,
the ones that have come and gone,
and all those waiting for us.

Speak, and send me searching for something to say
to try and match your cleverness.
An impossible task, one inevitably
rendering me speechless and amused.

Laugh, and clear the clouds from the darkened skies
that sometimes find me,
in afternoon moods or on dismal days,
when I should certainly know better.

Walk, and leave me longing to walk with you--or to dance with you!--
to forget my misgivings
and pretend we are written by Jane Austen,
and that we've never been otherwise.

Tire, and come to me close, so that I can hold you,
to soothe you and warm you,
and watch your sweet eyes shut so calmly.
It's all that I can do, really, in return.

Sleep, and become that beacon of peace and comfort and hope,
lulling me into slumber next to you,
in a bed never meant to hold just one of us,
where we can dream each other to life and it never stops.

Love, and teach me the true meaning of the colors of the sunset,
the brilliance of snowfall,
the quickness of the rivers,
the forever deserts,
the cascading mountains.
All of it is in you, from you.

You, as you are,
you are all that was ever pretty,
or joyous, or thoughtful, inspiring, captivating, creative.
And you build me inside, because without you--
my design is desolate.
Forlorn. And I am nothing.

All that loves in me is yours, for you.
Because you've shown me how to use it,
and it's mine to give--so I give it to you.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Give up your children

We were opting to give up our children to that secret agency, they who would take them and put them to work. We had been meeting with them--around a long rectangular conference table, in a nondescript building--for some time now, and were just starting to finalize details when I asked them what kind of work our children would be able to do at such a young age.

"Well, how old are they?"

"3, and 1 1/2."

"What?!" They were not pleased.

We continued talking. I suddenly felt that this company was so wrong in what they were doing, in how they mostly dealt with foreign immigrant families to help them pay their bills, that I wished them to be caught in the very act of negotiating for these children. I excused myself temporarily and walked outside. My sister was there, pacing, worried. I rushed to her, whispered a few details in her ear, then ran back inside. Had they seen me?

Within moments police cars rushed the building. Such a funny thing, nearly all of the company executives escaped. The once-full parking row out front became virtually empty literally as soon as the cops showed up, there were maybe two cars left. And now I was a wanted man. They were much more clever than I had thought.

We had to run, to go on foot to try and escape them. But they were everywhere. The huge double warehouse, they tracked us there. Our sole remaining contact with the company--Jeremy--was questionable at best, but seemed loyal to at least helping us find a solution that worked best for all. That is, until he caught us talking in the abandoned bathroom/laundry room, you know, the one with all the black toilet seats, torn from their bolts and rusty and creaky. The one with the orange walls and bad lighting, on the far end of the left side of the warehouse? (He was still using it for his laundry, for heaven's sake.)

And then he thought we were conspiring. We did our best to convince him otherwise, even when I furtively made my way into the exclusive meeting in the right half of the warehouse. But I was easily discovered, and less easily able to explain my circumstances. This was truly becoming a devastating mess. What was there to do now?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Swimming in an overturned ocean

The smiling sun smiles down in its fire
and the frozen earth refuses to thaw.
So it creaks and groans and deems Winter a liar--
with its spillway of light and its heated jaw

that laughs out with the chill and the bleak bitter days,
in a slow, fluid fashion, washing across
a valley of ice and of chimneys and sleighs
and of withering icicles dripping on frost.

In a blank-faced stare of the emptiest blue,
this crevice-town, in our homes we dwell.
Just a harbor in overturned ocean view,
a strange coral reef with a seamount shell.

Like the Inuit, sheltered, we live off our shore,
sharing midday drinks with that smiling sun,
our pikatti, "My friend! Come and suffer no more--
for you've pounced on the mountains and lived on each one--

and there isn't much time, none at all, for these things.
Round the rooftops you stroll and you drift every day,
and we've seen how austere this alone-ness can be
firsthand. Condescend, please pikatti, and stay."

Yet the smile persists in the ice-covered glare
of those faraway lakes on horizon confines
and we're silenced and still in the life that we share
with our valley of white, our wintry shrine.

Monday, February 06, 2006

In the city of celebrity

Snow is the culprit, dirtier of windows, icer of atmosphere. Those spots and the clearings caused by the wipers surround us; we're traveling to Park City for the first time. Canyon roads are just fractures spilling across the white landscape, and these vehicles, these ubiquitous vehicles - spouting fumes into the freeze - are just insects, mosquitoes in the summer, annoyances, burdens. We're scaling the plateau, up one level from the valley below, until Heber appears against the backdrop of the frosted tips and glazed peaks. Somehow these roads lead us, unscathed by the relentless schizophrenia that winter provides in all its fickleness. They are the beacons of the valleys, connecting one to another, stairstepping up and up until the temperature's drops are less noticeable - because it just can't get any colder - it already chaps your lips and eyelids regardless, and the road signs are almost completely illegible.

Park City welcomes all those fashionistas, touting the utmost in class, and outdoor experience!, of opportunity and demeanor, culture, expense, and desirability. The lives of the stars. The upward spiraling of the significant. We don't fit in, but it doesn't matter. Our cars are filthy, our clothing less expensive - unwashed or recycled even - our presence is one of mistake, but we don't mind. We've as much a right here as, say, Shia LaBeouf - right over there! In the blue sweatshirt, did you see him? Shaking hands, signing autographs, smiling pleasantly, self-assuredly, ostensibly reluctant or embarrassed by the recognition. "I love your work." "I'm such a fan." "Job well done. Job well done. Congratulations. Excellence."

These forever-eyes are searching, calculating. With each passing group you are stared down, into your deepest, densest self - is that someone to recognize, from television, the theatres, People? Some continue on, glancing backward, their curiosities unsatisfied, still seeking, searching. We all do this; there's no end in sight. A human zoo or attraction of sorts. We all may be celebrity, and none of us may be. Sight is deceiving - beanies, scarves, ludicrously oversized sunglasses, all hide the most blatant of facial features. We are one and the same, yet we all walk in awe of each other.

But the cold!, the shameful, conspiring cold! It'd find nothing more joyous than thousands of preserved, frozen bodies lying prostrate in the street gutters, torn from their sickly-sweet enjoyments with smiles of indifference or gaping gasps of shock still engraved across their cheeks. "They never saw it coming. They had no idea!"

[From the day of 22 January 2006]

Friday, February 03, 2006

The wreck

Jonathan was racing us; he was driving too fast. He had dark hair. He sped past us on our left, churning up billowing clouds of dust, while behind us, two cars went askew to avoid the speeding vehicle and collided. I ran back towards the scene to see what had occurred.

A man in a strangely painted, flat suit - replete with gray trim and a bowtie - was angrily cursing and scolding the other driver with whom he'd collided. I recognized this suit-man as Larry Sterling, my oldest sister Adrienne's old boyfriend, whom was once my friend: I had worked with him at my dad's work - Georges and Shapiro Lithograph - and used to frequent his house for a few late nights of playing Magic cards with Zack in tow.

Immediately he softened, and we embraced - for an almost-uncomfortably long period of time - and we danced circles during that embrace, like little jubilant schoolgirls, chanting and shouting our excitement at having seen one another after all these long years.


And this says nothing at all of the large mansion I was in earlier, with its blue carpeted floors and whitewashed walls. All that's left to picture now is the bright green lawn spanning the side of the house facing the water - picture Jay Gatsby's home - and the peak-like rooftops that seemed to go up and up forever.