"I don't know. It was my first game. Kinda freaked...walkin' up this wet, concrete ramp. I think it had just rained one of those early spring rains. Maybe I could see my breath in the tunnel. The white tiles on the walls were clean and there was the smell of Pine Sol and it knocked me out of my thoughts a bit 'cause it smelled real, where nothin' else was."
"What else?" I asked.
"Don't know what I was expectin', but as the field came into view, that soap smell just sorta mixed into hotdog, you know...and I remember to this day wonderin' where I was? And my shoes so tight and forearm's frozen stiff and I'm lookin' around and honest to god I didn't see no people...'cept some kids, boys mostly, hangin' over the green infield wall, and some old Black guy in a white, starched shirt sweepin' some stairs down 'long the right field line. And I'm thinkin', as the sound of a whole jumble of metal cleats is startin' to occur to my ears, "...where are all the fuckin' people?""
"Mmmh...yep. I thought the place'd be packed."
There it was. He paused, and was looking just past me as if recognizing some thing in the distance, and all of a sudden, in a split second, a train was upon the house with such fury that the translucent curtains holding back the August sun blew inward as the air in the room seemed to be sucked away in a vacuum. We sat, chained by the monstrous noise.
At one point, he turned his head lethargically toward a glass of brackish water vibrating on the table nearby, but seemed too paralyzed by the endless roar to do anything about it.
Finally, the train was gone as inexplainably as it had arrived, leaving behind the sound of something steel hitting something else steel, then drifting off methodically, gradually until pretty much disappeared and we could talk again. The curtains rested as I fought the urge to look around his quiet room to see if anything else had moved.
I'd forgotten what I'd come to ask.
Come Hither Cool Moon
Swatting black flies
tiny as those smallest moles on your thigh
they’re a nasty buncha bitches
biting left of center
you’re so blonde
like threads of bad behavior
silver raining a golden crush of fog lights
down upon your trembling shoulders
like search and rescue guys who refuse to give-up.
Because we talk only at New Year’s
I have absolutely no idea if that guy
whose wife waits by the phone
is really missing.
Wasn’t it just last night
over hot toddies
you claimed, “…only you know.”
That was presumptuous,
considering how small the place is where I grew up.
C’mon, we were trying our damndest to celebrate the job I lost yesterday.
We didn’t even have to use gasoline
like discount couples do when rent needs paying
and it’s too hot outside for roof work.
At about a quarter t’ 3 you’re gonna take the teller on the right.
I’ve got the two who don’t really like each otherbecause on Homecoming night her son did his daughter wrong.
Over It Is Late
Rings of golden ash
body arcing like the many keels
seeking her shores.
Towering jeweled drifting in new anaesthesium
block after each dancing block
cradling some brand-new Iroquois day where
the sun can’t quite set.
And what if it did?
And children who run run wild circles
teasing double dutch round Saint John The Devine.
Landings were once Nobody’s concern
yet “what shifts hath They With Shiny Faces wrought?”
She, riven with sequins, flashing her slo-mo cabbie
who looks out for breasts so full
no-one goes hungry on ample September days again.
This is not what We had in mind but It seldom ever is.
Forgetting as I must,
this man’s brother’s vacancy will never look the same.
Been downtown where Canal’s Red Snappers still pound
like crimson prairie’s autumnal thunder.
Unraveling long times in-between
somewhere there I’ll go,
hot asphalt underfoot,
over the under and warming air.
We were interlopers on that day when,
dust blowing down the Cloisters,
waiting nurses had little if anything to do.
Appendices standing on line saying little.
Commentators on our own oceans of Yellow Light
lacking nothing but distance between.
What’s to be said quietly about that?
The punga palms didn’t quite belong where
patinated steel and glass shards litter the silence
where I once heard a concert of Nok percussion
where I once felt thick tremors of Electra Glides roll beyond
what is now forever past.
What and Who don’t belong where?
Choreography will spill from tongues
only for so long before drunken uncles
no longer sour parades in the name of love.