CAP MY PAINTS. WALK AWAY FROM THE PAINTING
Cap my paints. Walk away from the painting.
Came to a fork in the shadows of an old oak.
Let it finish itself. My lungs and legs ache.
Go sit down at the desk. My chair creaks
as if it were always perturbed by something in its sleep.
Listen to the night sounds of the town on a Saturday night
watering down the drunks who by now
have either found sleep, true love, or a fight.
The carpenter rock stars trying to play rock and roll
like loggers are done for the night at the Shark and Bull
above the 1950’s carwash with horse stalls for your car
and hoses hissing like rat snakes on wet cement.
The old banshee of the train whistle howls at my window
for bones the bush wolves dug up years ago.
You ever publish anything blue-white and brilliant
like a first magnitude star that just showed up one night
and did all the shining for you, then watch it grow yellow
like the dusk of a middle-aged book, or the sun?
Jupiter Venus and Mercury in a menage a trois in the west.
Too cloudy for any serious voyeurism this side of the windows.
My telescope stands in the kitchen like an anti-aircraft gun
staring at the titles of over read books I’m going to
selectively dump like ballast soon to gain some altitude
of my own and travel light at the behest of the wind
that’s bullying the leaves on the municipal trees like green recruits.
A turmoil of starmud settling in the puddles, wary sounds
of threatened animals coming out of their hiding places
like feral cats and half-mad strangers that live
in worlds of their own that have yet to be discovered
like life on another planet, and the two or three
weeping adolescent girls followed by concerned friends
up the street, as their tears turn into acid rain
they splash in their own faces, burning to get even
with their heartbreak like jellyfish of white phosphorus.
The whole magnum opus of novelistic humanity in a week.
I speculate but I don’t judge. I perceive but I leave
many of my most acute insights to be blunted by the silence
like a sword I’m returning to the water sylphs
drowning in the sacred pools of their sorrows,
a scorched earth policy no one can use after me
as I progress backwards through similar strategic defeats
I suffered earlier in life. It takes a lot of wounding
and soothing to ripen a green apple bitter as spring.
The little acorns from which mighty oak trees grow
live on a diet of wild pigs from the feed store
and somehow, against the odds of cliched expectations,
between seven come eleven and snake eyes,
love still seems to work out when you leave the heart
to tusk it out alone like the first and last crescents of the moon.
There’s a renovated shoe factory in town that now attends
ballet classes and lift weights in its afterlife and one
that manufactures soap that’s always on the nightshift
that smells like Bouncing Bet, Lady at the Gate,
the Pride of London in a pioneer garden that doesn’t make
as many suds when you hold its sap under the tap
amazed at the fragrance of bubbles in the multiverse.
Peace by acclamation, I’m dispossessed of myself
in the ambient silence that befalls me in the dark
just before dawn when the ghosts begin to drift back
like smoke from the last votive candle of the night
to their vandalized graves in the heritage cemetery.
These days I depend more upon my eyes than the light
to realign my shadows with the insights that are casting them
like the morphic forms of dream figures in a shapeshifting world
across the return journey of a landscape my mindstream runs through.