Tuesday, August 11, 2009

when I turned on Wyoming I got the Lackawanna blues

i. I saw a blend of freaky spectrums bleeding unto a scarlet deck of hearts

the fluted feast of yellow sparrows dewly pecking,
posted a periwinkle rain of righteous seed and aging rye:


this caused us to sputter the caraway spunk of testy innocence
into a forgotten chamber of mouldy fireflies and cloudy glass-

this caused us to thrust aside our staunch and freckled youth
and embrace, like tadpoles, the amber tufts of wispy grass
mirrored upon a glassy pond of our own silver reflections:


that was the sacred spark of ebb and flow worship, eminently reasonable,
when salty promises from a freckled ocean lolled unexpected bursts of foam-

respected threads of black and purple,
and funny hats and other things that should never be rewoven:


ii. then the beach led to a main street confusification

maybe the fine line between loitering and malingering
disappears when leaky black macadam turns to tranquil sand:

I tried to jump down from the white wooden slats
but your one chaste kiss made me dizzy:

a day later, I fell in love with you,
and you've never left my mind.

iii. romance consecrated in neon never really dies

dancing in the surf is timeless and ironic at dusk,
given the salty cautions of tidal beginnings
and a gulf stream of gold champagne and ruby claret.

and ebbs and flows and neaps and baubles
that the innocent boardwalk is compelled to hawk anew.

it's just the norm to be forsaken
by the fake enthusiasm of departure
and the selling of mink to a salty few.

to hang with ocean friends
that a tide of books cannot wash away,
revives memories of the numinous plane:

a sticky popsicle stick stuck on equally sticky thighs.

hush, hush, you said,
go into the reeds and be rabbit still
and wake me in the morning.

iv. crispy letters and bleached mockery

then you lived near a trove of antique bottles
and the blue glass of ancient friezes eclipsed,
like a privateer, the galleons of my mind:

on a blistering beach I parted the summer weeds,
without a cutlass or a clue, trying to reach your shore.

I almost forgot about that benighted time, when, with rusty key,
our ballpoint scrawls from tidal nibs in a blue-clawed basket
were cloistered into mahogany antiques and left to nightly yellow,


v. memory is merely redemption etched on slate sidewalks

I always thought that the cave of sacred birth
was hidden in a cornfield near a drainage ditch:

then, you said, Mechanicsburg.

the artificial grotto is, therefore,
a pale mystery I do not fully understand,

meant perhaps to hide dusky acolytes in frankincense
behind a smoky lattice with purple velvet draped on slats-


I only wanted to look for you
in the streets below St. Anne's
but the streets were all one way:

I do no know why that was,

unless the pale grotto was an artificial heresy
that kept me from finding you.


  1. Nostalgic and quirky... I like it a lot... the way we journey through the narrator's memory :)

  2. Wow. I had to focus on that one. It took me places in my memory that I didn't know existed. Beautiful places. Childhood places, and Seaside places, where I walked last week. Amazing. I'll have to reread it--and reread--and reread...

  3. WOW...
    My favorite was 'hush, hush, you said,
    go into the reeds and be rabbit still
    and wake me in the morning.'
    Nice one...Long and learned a whole bunch of new words..:))
    Beautiful..keep writing..!

  4. I love how you have created the neon scene in the unexpected colour words linked to such mundane and lovely seashores... I was then delighted to see the line: romance consecrated in neon never really dies.... and the poignancy of the search for " that you " ( as opposed to ...)

    I liked how the descriptive language was as sweet as the story.

  5. (applause)

    amazing work - love how languid and elastic it feels - with room to wander and wonder and think.

  6. Too bloody long!
    You knew I would say that, right? Ha!
    Why have you used 'unto'? How I read such it reads 'into' or 'onto'; but that's just me Gerry and you know me *sigh*
    'that kept keeping that me, from finding that you.' I put a comma in after 'me' Hey? Just how my ears hear; you.
    Fantastic use of language as always and thought provoking images, that my poor brain will contemplate for some time.

  7. unto: I want to get biblical, biblical; apologies to Olivia Newton John.

    Thanks on the "kept". Typo. My bad. No comma required after correction.

  8. romance consecrated in neon never really dies

    oh, yeah.

  9. gary, have i ever posted a comment on one of you poems? don't remember.

    anyway, this one begs for a comment.

    ahem ;)

    i love what you did with the ahems in part i.

    it's like someone said, you have to really pay attention, to focus, but the ahem just sort of drops it all out of focus, which then forces you back in.

    it reminded me a reading i went to where the poet, can't remember his name at the mo but someone like kenneth koch except not, an old gentlemen anyway, wich some stuff in the New American Anthology of Poetry (with washington on the cover, right?)... he'd had a sore throat so he took a cough drop before he went on to read. except the cough drop was still in his mouth as he read, and he had to stop between stanzas to swirl it around his mouth. he commented on it and it was humourous, but also very very very surreal in a way. you've done the same thing with ahems here. where you're really into the poem and the tone and the colors and then the poet reminds you he's human, ahem.

    (yeah, so i could have written a whole blog post about your ahems)

  10. erm, gerry... can i call you gary?

  11. Searching for answers, looking for questions and understanding nothing yet enlightened with what you find or don't find