I’m traveling back home to you but it’s an omen:
my road map’s creased and torn along dead straight lines.
The hill and gully ride is over now and I’m flat out
on the dead straight highway with a toll.
Not a glimmer of the coastline as I try to make it home
to you through a forest of hotels as thick as thieves.
For the sea, the coves and beaches once seen through
seaside shacks and palm trees have been sold.
And the rest of us are herded to the verge by this new
highway while over there our beauty is extolled,
bottled and sold. And gated. In this new paradise the only
palms are greased. And somebody’s beach umbrella
has replaced the shade tree we once sat under and the
towns and settlements molder as they are bypassed.
I can no longer witness on this highway with a toll that
makes us seem as modern as elsewhere. For elsewhere
is not where I’m meant to be. And a dead straight
highway leaves no scent, no monument to the past,
no scenic beauty for the curvature of my eye to take in.
And endless empty space is not inviting. But perhaps
there’s no social meaning to this tirade after all. I’m just
feeling lost without a map as I make it home to you
and pay the toll. You could see it simply as a love song.
To the curving of your cheekbones, to the mountains
of your thighs, the hill and gully passion of your eyes, and
your hair that is not dead straight but very much otherwise.
around 530 is
a beautiful peaceful
you can just
hear the dog
David lifts his smoke
in the middle
bout the top shelf
or so. The party
I sd that’s my col-
works and every
stared my home
was so small
I’m not particularly
into the task
at the moment
it’s like that
on a tiny
I think of as
with the larger
one on a
floating in air
love made it
me love made
I love a house
I fear a house
a house never
I live in a
room a personal
one. A young
much like me
please it was
for a party
going fast. How
of a drug
want to go
slow. To drink
thing for a
to lick my
I met a dog
dog named Alan
now & then
her chest &
thing. You didn’t
I don’t want
the mother of
when she squeezes
cozy I know
to say. I can open
what I mean
After a series of indiscretions a man stumbled homeward, thinking, now that I am going down from my misbehavior I am to be forgiven, because how I acted was not the true self, which I am now returning to. And I am not to be blamed for the past, because I’m to be seen as one redeemed in the present...
But when he got to the threshold of his house his house said, go away, I am not at home.
Not at home? A house is always at home; where else can it be? said the man.
I am not at home to you, said his house.
And so the man stumbled away into another series of indiscretions...
My house, I say. But hark to the sunny doves
That make my roof the arena of their loves,
That gyre about the gable all day long
And fill the chimneys with their murmurous song:
Our house, they say; and mine, the cat declares
And spreads his golden fleece upon the chairs;
And mine the dog, and rises stiff with wrath
If any alien foot profane the path.
So, too, the buck that trimmed my terraces,
Our whilom gardener, called the garden his;
Who now, deposed, surveys my plain abode
And his late kingdom, only from the road.
You can get there from here, though
there’s no going home.
Everywhere you go will be somewhere
you’ve never been. Try this:
head south on Mississippi 49, one—
by—one mile markers ticking off
another minute of your life. Follow this
to its natural conclusion—dead end
at the coast, the pier at Gulfport where
riggings of shrimp boats are loose stitches
in a sky threatening rain. Cross over
the man-made beach, 26 miles of sand
dumped on a mangrove swamp—buried
terrain of the past. Bring only
what you must carry—tome of memory
its random blank pages. On the dock
where you board the boat for Ship Island,
someone will take your picture:
the photograph—who you were—
will be waiting when you return
A green light that comes
when you never saw it coming, never
heard it, felt it, but you knew it
like the woman in the sandlot
behind Abram’s Grill
who’s just lost her lenses,
on her hands and knees, her
hair cut short but seems as if
it’s flowing, and the rush
on her throat like a rise
from birth, the music in the car
as the engine goes silent
while you fold down a seat
for the stashed beam lantern
with its yellow plastic grip, six
movement in the trees
beyond Lake Michigan. It’s
a wave like that
when the wind gets lost
and the mail-boat from Racine, three
hours late, cracks into a tanker,
where the crew, like you, has
waited on the decks, in the hold
for two months out, to send
a message home—or to get a
certain scent, for just one instant,
of weeds, in the dirt, the both
of you groping.