In-Between

To dream, the embattled dreamers
all dreaming not a separate
force, not a separate energy, intangible sum
just tangling us all,

no crime, or the best crime.
Perfect crime of containing;
a brief moment to see in penumbra
seeing red, white
and blue and every shade in between
mashed into purple jelly and lime, yes,
every other color.

Not a dimension of good versus evil,
we are not bad, we are not our dreams
unless we choose to be,
not even lutefisk aphrodisiacs under dusk,
the mountains digging deeper
into soot and loam, not even the pines of vanilla,
rays beating against wings
taking off across the foothills,

not even they are real unless
we agree and act as they are…

Beeson Blues Pt. 2

Day one, a crow caws to me, waking me from a fleet of sleeping seconds in the early sun. The crows are always near, no matter what the hour, and here they are again to wake me into awful dawn light. I rise from an armchair in my room, shut the window against the moans of early day, shut the curtains to the same. As I float into bed, a cold solitary bed, I listen for hours to the sounds of the outside and do not sleep.

Melancholia, some drowning in black bile, is what it is deemed, the incessant need to stay in a blanking room, only travel out to help with feeding. The pipeline guides the way, the hot hiss I hear every night walking across the cobbled street. My boy now spending each night with my mother, but not an anchor enough. She has been away for years, out of the loop, out of the ways of knowing how to properly bathe a child, let alone feed one daily. I bring what she does not have; the bowls and jars and napkins to the little white chamber, the light blinking for me.

He has always been a fragile infant, but calm, calm like a summer breeze shifting the growing corn stalks, something refreshing. And even now in the damp, quiet air he is calm during his meal, eyes blissfully closed. I wipe his tiny mouth with no fuss. I take him to the basin to wash, careful of his drooping daisy arms, so soft and white. The job is meticulous, of course, but what more do I need time for? Time is an eclipse on our bodies. On my son’s. So, I take my spell slowly. I spend my paper time on this nature of growing, the longevity of roots taking in foundation, the soft stretching of white stem into white receptacle into white petal. The nature of wiping clean, seeing his soft shine once more. “Maybe mommy will want to see you again,” I whisper to his soft ear. “Soon, it will be soon.”

 

 

Day two, the crow does not caw me awake, I am already stirring.

After I bathed and bundled my boy, the winds howled so hard through the darkness, his cries carried through with wind, driving me almost mad. I was hence forbidden to leave the house again during night by my wife, who has taken to hunting the entrance corridors, winding back and forth between doors tirelessly as a shark wandering waters for prey. All night she stayed wakeful as me.

I am however aroused out of my room by a bang against the front door followed by a short “Eeeeeeeech!” from my wife. As I run to see what is waiting at the entrance, my wife has fallen by the door, surely fainted from fright. A sad body weakness my boy inherited from her. I pull her to the chase nearby and pull open the door to find today’s paper, The Niles Star – October 6th, 1870, but the headline is foreign and unreadable. I toss it into the umbrella stand near-by, as good as any waste basket.

I set my wife in her room and leave for town to gather pots and dirt and flowers. I plant them around the white chamber for my son to smell and gaze upon all day: Cornflowers and Allium and Lenten Roses and Black-eyed Susans.

When dusk begins to fall, my wife is still resting and I am called by the hissing to the daily care. I gather the bowls and jars and napkins. I sing along the path, in harmony with the hiss of gas into the cooling night. I feed my son his meal. I wipe his tiny mouth with no fussing. I take him to the basin to wash, careful of his graying daisy arms, tenderer than before.

Beeson Blues Pt. 1

The crows, never falling, still they sit, still they sit on the sugar-maple branches just above my window. Watching, waiting for an instant they know is near—his breathing eyes are falling shallow. The spot over him, shining into his tiny pores, his brown eyes like me, his father, it shines into a face fighting for light every day.

Young Son of Beeson Fortune Debilitated, all the headlines read week after week, and I cannot take it much longer. Every limestone brick of this mansion, freshly laid for him, just months ago the news stories touted Carbide Pipeline to Light the Way for Beeson Family, an eternal flame I desire for him. An eternal flame I must have known was needed for him. We had the pipeline built into the house, as the drafts in Niles are deadly. We knew we had to run a line when we had to call a doctor in for our newborn light. A draft blew the window open, blew out his candle, and he stopped breathing for minutes. Death of fright is nothing to be joked about. And it was cheaper at the time to run the pipeline through the house and the cemetery, to the crypt where my sweet mother is buried. A light shining always for her, and new light shining for my boy.

But now his tiny pores are closing under the watchful eyes of the fields outside his window. “Leave me be!” My wife, too heartbroken to leave her own forested room, she knows it’s time too, leaves the watching to the crows. Glass eyes set to judge life, set to look in from the shadows of our trees, feel our spirits as they lift from bodies. They sit, the crows, never falling into flight, never falling out or down, the crows only lift away when my boy lifts away into the night.

 

Melancholia is what they deem it, they incessant need to stay inside, only travel out to help with the feeding. I know I should stop, but the pipeline guides the way, the hot hiss I hear every night walking across the street. My boy now spending each night with my mother, but not an anchor enough. She has been away for years, out of the loop, out of the ways of knowing how to properly bathe a child, let alone feed one daily. I bring the bowls and jars and napkins to the little white chamber, the light already on for me.

The Bend

Exhale
all the days,

learning new powers
to sway
to bend strong palms,

a curve of my own inventing–
mountain, forest breeze

warm

to sweep all Four Winds
into frenzied shape, frenzied energies
like curls growing too quickly,

matted

too tight, dreads on
dread.

A new wind to maintain
and unable to turn away, turn in to

face to invisible face,
a song waiting to grasp,
orange thread to keep tugging along.

What Will Find

Is it alright if  we didn’t remember
when we had it,
sunset under
walks next to…

So easy, complaining
over shelter, what shelters
are for and who?

Sun under fields, they burn
East coast, Western front,
no escaping
but not as immediate
as hands waiting for print

or some digital version
of desire, miles long,
dreams we see with eyes closed.
Until that dream is done…

with too much love for every one.

Invented Blues

In my more oblivious years, my mother gave me some advice that I’ve put on repeat since.

She told me, “Just remember that many of the people in this world don’t have the advantages you’ve had.”

She didn’t say any more.

Consequently, I tend to push away all judgments, a silent observer before I speak, a habit that has opened many other advantages to me. The contemplative mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears, and so in college I was marked as being a representative of the Other, because I was keen to pick up the secret griefs of  the unknown. Many nights I would lie awake, realized by some sign that an intimate revelation was quivering over horizon underneath the realities of the others around me. Mornings I would wake up with half-moons still hanging under my eyes.

But reserving judgments is the substance of infinite hope. I’m still plagued by circumstance dealt unequally at birth, some rigged card game the masses continuously flock around.

I like to think demeanor may be created for more than appeal, but after a certain point I’ve come to realize for most it isn’t so.

When I came back from the East I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever, in harmony—Only Key, the woman who gives her name to chaotic essence, was exempt from my reaction — Key, who embodies everything I have an genuine disdain for… Yet if personality is a continuous series of successful signals, then there was something gorgeous about her, some heightened sensitivity to the truths of life, as if she were made from one of those machines that pick-up earthquake shakes ten thousand miles away.

She was an extraordinary gift for hope, dazzling with some romantic readiness I’ve never found in any other person and which I’ll probably never find again, no — But Key turned out all right in sincerity; it’s what fed on her, a glowing which floated in the wake of her dreams which closed out her interest in me and consumed her short-winded elations into grief, regardless of advantage or lack-there-of.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (opening rewrite)

https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/f/fitzgerald/f_scott/gatsby/complete.html