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, June 11, 2006

The weatherman

I played in the hail last night, while the
sky made yellow fractures between the noises
of earthquakes, and it tried to wound me
with small white pebbles sprung from nothing
and shot like ammunition toward the asphalt.
The grocery store clerks stood sheltered and
stared out at the spectacle: others racing
past me through the storm and I alone walking
slowly in a different spatial dimension.

I danced in the twilight tonight, as it burnt
out the sun in a great golden gleam in the
west, and cast its purple cloak across the
canyon to make shadowed remains of mountains.
The neighbors rushed inside from front yards
and the cars all returned to line the curbs.
The hush of nighttime fell all around, and
indoor lights flickered like false flames,
showing only the streets the color of curtains.

Tomorrow, electric fans and air conditioning
units will cool my boiling blood and pull my
eyelids downward like shutters, until I sleep
in the daylight holding crossed arms near my
damp heart.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Comiendo la cena conmigo solo

It's like that time last year when I ate at Chipotle by myself; eating alone is never enjoyable--you just sit there, eating, looking around and catching the occasional stare. Because you just know everyone is staring at you: What's that guy doing by himself? He must be waiting for someone. But no, he has only one plate, one drink. It's so pathetic. I vowed I would never do it again, but here I am at Cafe Río, different state, different Mexican restaurant, same old situation.

It's after nine. I'm not even that hungry. I'm surprised they're still even open. (This cilantro-lime salad dressing sounds delicious, but it's so oily I can't keep a grip on anything, a plastic fork or a pencil for example.)

I wish I spoke better Spanish. Maybe then I would call out to these guys in español, "Close already! It's nine-forty-five! Who eats dinner this late?--it's ridiculous. I don't want to be here. Give me an excuse to leave. Just close up shop and usher me out." But they wouldn't listen anyway. Plus my Spanish accent would be so terrible they probably wouldn't even understand me.

So I finally leave with half my meal untouched. It's almost ten. And the strange thing is, that with so much freedom available to me, I head home. So many places to go, so many opportunities, and I make the easy choice: go right on home. Go where it's comfortable and inviting. So free yet still so trapped. And that's the easy choice.

Three guys and two girls in the car in front of me are having a jolly old time. Waving at passersby, leaning out of windows and shouting. I'm smiling. Listening to Moneen, my third cd obsession in Provo: "Sing for love. Sing for choices. Sing for everyone without voices. Sing for love. Sing for laughter. Sing for everyone here and after." So I keep driving and change lanes, and then they come up to pass me on my right and all three in the back seat (girl/boy/girl) lean forward in perfect succession, seriously perfect like it was choreographed from some comedy or something, and they just kind of stare and blankly wave at me, and so I smirk and wave back like, Hey it's just me, thanks for noticing. Then I pull left to get into my turn lane and they pass by again and look backward out their rear window. So what's the big deal? Did you think that you knew me? Well, you don't. I'll just be going home now.

I'm so tormented. Such an artist. But I wasn't the only one eating alone. Guess that just happens.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Arcturus found a pencil

Update: This poem placed fourth in Artella's August 2006 Poetic Idol competition.

--- ---

A warm wind bled all over me
atop that faux-marble bench
that smelled of old jeans and chapstick,
and I watched above as thumbtacks
slowly made open holes through
the blue buckshot canvas.

If just one of those thousand
flashlights from faraway worlds
would drown me in light,
shine down like a streetlamp
to lead me through the fog and coming darkness--

then with sleepless eyes
as red as Sand Creek's soil
and dreams of half-moons and silhouetted strangers,
for one moment,
just one brief moment,
I could be where I intended.

So I sat up and forgot my dilemmas
and started home--
but then saw the pencil
positioned between my feet:
long and black with bitemarks,
a blunt tip and a worn top.

I wondered how many graphite scars
its eraser had stolen--
how many were mistakes, misconceptions,
or curses, love notes, drawings, letters or poetry.

I wondered how many more nine-thirty nights
I would pedal my bike across mown lawns,
with the sprinklers' bite ready to startle me
and the crickets humming along
until I begin to rotate with the earth.

How many more times would my eyes blink
before admitting defeat?--closing for good,
recalling only the pinpoint memories
created by those flashlamps,
those streetbulbs,
Arcturus and the others.

Would the rabid amusements of genius
and catastrophe be lost?
Would this one dark pencil
contain enough of its black-match lead
to record all I was worthy of remembering?

But then I understood
that remembrances are only there
for those that are in need of them--
and so I cast the pencil away.

And I sat at a bus stop to wait, to sleep
until 6 AM arrived and signaled the end
of the buzzing electric lights around me
that laughed so loud in the night,
ruling over the crickets.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

April is confused

With still little flurries
of seed or snow,
the winter months try
to reclaim the land from spring,
to make blossoms barren.
But the rainwater sidewalk
and the lemon dandelions
are discouragement enough.

From the line of mauve bushes
on the hill across the canyon
a boundary is formed
between mountain and grid.
Toxic air crowns
in machinery plumes
(the good old torchsmoke of liberty)
next to the ranches.
And the airborne pollen
that strangely smells of mold
or mushroom
perfumes each mountain desert afternoon.

I'm on that road,
right round the corner.
That same old road;
that lonely creeping canyon road
that still hasn't forgotten.

[administrative post 06-01-2006]

I suppose this is a bit of boasting, but here it is anyway: My poem Tale of a frozen mountain boy (originally posted here) won the Artella Quarterly Poetic Idol contest for April 2006. And I am excited. You can see the poem and a picture and a cheesy little bio on their Poetry Gardens page, right here: