The broken one dreamless sleep while housesitting going to bed tired and waking up tired visions suppressed now by invasive reality a harsh wind whipping in through a cracked window raindrops on the potted green houseplants steam heat squealing and hissing like a teapot preferring to spend hours lying on the long red couch reading one book after another text and moon marking the passage of time now rather than the endless walks across the city's lunar surface
The courage to become an artist Lies in shedding feelings of shame (however legitimate they may be) That one should be doing something more productive with one’s time Like working at a non-profit Or writing journalism or starting fair-trade endeavors Something that makes the world a better place Being in the world rather than sitting around apartments Translating the gooey machinations of one's inner life A life to be found in the sublimation of sexual desire in not losing yourself to drink or aimless walking around and blowing up the bridge to your bourgeois ambitions embracing your own pneumatic device you can get into the pit with the twin snakes
Obligations to others shunned or left unfulfilled Brings shame and anxiety Alcohol and exercise help dull the pain Late night comes and the world heads off to sleep you finally have an excuse To climb inside that coffin That you call a bed and go to sleep Not to rest yourself but from exhaustion with the world you are in hot pursuit of non-existence
Awakening from a night of disturbed sleep all my troubles so distant now covered over by the green moss of days generally content with the passage of time and the early morning Brooklyn trees budding and birds chirping a kind of joy here sprouting forth from concrete a resigned religious passage to the days I think of Peter Taylor that 35 year old Tennessee bachelor in NYC and all the others who hated their provincial small towns stomping through the endless smoggy Brooklyn night defectors eternal exiles lost a little bit of concrete having been soldered onto their hearts in the morning light there is a glimmer of hope for the damned like myself showering is so pleasurable the breeze through the open bathroom window memories of Portland ten years ago--different coast, different bathroom window dead times I never recorded so many dead times that will fall away into oblivion when the bodies that experienced them die memories like the black boxes of slow-crashing passenger planes
The suburban dream is a crescent moon, an empty street, and a wood-burning fireplace Boy running across the street and into a backyard Like some kind of horror movie golem Men taking out the trash with flashlights A car pulling up into the driveway And idling there, not getting out Until the solitary night-walker shambles past Bare trees and a crescent moon The lonesome train whistle in the distance Cars streaming down the highway And all the Christmas decorations still up even though New Year approaching Multicolored lights draped across rooflines The smell of chimney smoke Inflatable santas lit up, casting ominous shadows on the brick ranch-style houses Two books in my hand Cigarettes in my pocket Long after midnight Another good night alone loving up to G-O-D And his freshly-trimmed grass And this hometown
Time to face up to certain truths Time is rushing by Faces aging in mirrors Time taking its toll A love for family A love for cemeteries and weather If I had chosen one thing Perhaps I would be there by now
Diversifying and hedging refuge of the scoundrels And the creeping sense that people have been having these kind of conversations For a very long time “You know Flaubert was supported by his parents” “You just don’t give yourself enough credit" all artists,navel-gazers, playing at it circling the same unnamable thing never saying it but living the feeling of it live so quietly that no one can hear
Hidden world away from the eyes of man Back in the woods behind the mall Where the moss grows on the stream banks And there’s no sound other than the trickling water And the unseasonably warm breeze shaking the spindly pines The moon in twilight ozone clouds directly overhead Big red sun sinking west behind the coptic white structures Walking back out of the gully Into the parking lot Past the stolid exteriors of Belk and JC Penny The tall parking lot streetlights like lights on an airport runway A gaggle of ROTC boys doing push-ups in a well-trimmed grassy knoll on just up from the concrete curb And the sky endlessly blue, except for one black cloud Hovering over the mall The familiar Van Gogh impressionistic sketchiness of the green bushes The dark walk through the grass Past all the ranch houses, headlights of all the passing cars illuminating my back Thinking nothing, at peace with my lot with my lonely march home an old person now having made this march for fifteen years I turn down a dark street to my neighborhood and shamble past all the floodlights and lit up kitchens and kaleidoscopic play of lights in the windows of living rooms And the green electric night glow all the buzzing streetlights Covered in kudzu Dogs barking in the distance street I grew up on The home stretch this same story over and over again I'll be telling it til the day I die Walking in the rut of a quiet little suburban neighborhood street Overtaken by nature Home to ranch houses and old people A car creeps past me headlights on And a big black limousine with tinted windows Drives past an ominous foghorn sounds somewhere nearby a death knell Fog creeps in from vents hidden in the sewer drain Turns to green slime under the pale glow of the streetlights The creaky sound of a door opening and closing somewhere up on the hill And the black limousine Like some kind of undulating wyrm drives into my cul-de-sac when I get down to the bottom of the hill the cul-de-sac, my home, where I know everybody and everything, the limo has disappeared, vanished into the night.