Night, Somewhere

Neon invitations lead your life

from out of the dark, a sudden glare

fascination follows these beacons

along the boulevards of night, somewhere

a faceless driver

navigates through the bright lights that impair

the vision of this sudden silhouette

wrinkling the blacktop of night, somewhere

along the Old Pali or the Natchez Trace

ominous roads built of bone and nightmare

hold close to the wild, their dark secrets

twisting through the night, somewhere

like a graceful dancer on parchment paper,

without a trace you’ll disappear

leaving us listening for gentle footsteps

from stage left in the night, somewhere

there’s a doorway, an arcade to find sanctuary,

a ray of light to acknowledge a searching stare

but none were found in hollow signs

trespassing through the night, somewhere

vagrant, with a pack dropped in blind alleys

cold stone for a pillow, a marble stair

a kind of impoverishment

draped in the night, somewhere

over rooftops you undress the moon

behind cloud fabric, its body bare

with curves for all to see and be guided

through the enchanted night, somewhere

a reflection in disturbed water

to gaze into and compare

while morning sees the same surface placid

but it is always night, somewhere.

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A Source of Light

In foreign places

information is akin to light.

On the side of the road

it is a night time haven.

In truck stops and depot salons,

like currency, it opens doors,

temporary dwellings, hostels and hotels

lodged in strange cities of stone.

You grope there alone in the dark

drawn to the neon address

found on folded maps

to bunk under the light of tiny lamps

while other travellers

in their silent mass

of backpacks and belongings

sleep to make tomorrow’s hidden itineraries.

Some spoke to you of their lands

like the lines on their hands

and in yours there rests a pen

to write as much as you can comprehend

of fragments and fleeting stories.

Your mind under sleepless duress,

one part exhaustion

one part inspiration,

will press in swollen pages

and collapse in this location,

a crooked position

of notebook spines and meandering highways.

The ecstacy and pursuit

of what cannot be written down,

notes to yourself

notes from the underground,

that which will go unread

from a hidden source is

bled into countless streams,

fed into oceans

careening motions

that momentum through tunnels, expelled.

Soon brush fires spread

at the edge of cities.

Like a spontaneous blaze of wanderlust,

even when contained

will linger like rust

on the firepots you took to the road,

camping out of the jeep.

The land was one deep surface

you could never keep level

under the source of dark writing.

Always a guest

in rooms of flickering insight.

Moved by what they suggest

before extinguished

one by one

the searchlights going out

and senses are left

eavesdropping

on intervals of breath

and dreams taking route.

The Kicker

What happens to a kicker,

caught in the threads of responsibility?

Responsibility,

with hydra’s heads and a woman’s body,

is futility.

So he tries to live alone

above shopfronts dealing in abandon.

Without electricity

the squatter lights another candle

saying “There’s no soundtrack for the silence.”

for the writer, alone with the spirits,

or was it wine?

The divine shell of the right word?

Under the spell of the moon,

a voyeur by trade

caught in a strange perfume.

The ever-shifting paths

now at crossroads to illume

the hiker with boots caked in mud

or something immaterial like blood

from warriors felled long ago.

Scars on the terrain he taps with bamboo

staffs left on the side of the path

to one day resume the circle, reborn.

The kicker

detached and transient

on truck beds and benches with no blanket,

in rot gut alleys with marquee-lit features,

a fractured passenger,

through the shadow

of sunsets and season’s shift,

he’s circles in the reverance,

like wind and gone.

All the possibilities

peopled with walls that enclose

the character in a chapter,

while pages fall

flimsy to the willful winds.

See them blown like feathers

into the atmosphere,

to be hung for ages

from the axis there,

these sages shaving

secrets they do not fully reveal.

Here they leave you stranded

without boundaries of form,

secluded personalities reborn

through fleeting doors.

The awkwardness of finding words

to forge stakes in a moment,

to pinion the motion of flight

to give breath and devotion

to that which is just out of sight.

Attempting to grasp and pin it down,

you assign words and drown

out the sound of interference,

the majestic OM

the wind blOWs,

kicking up dust in its disappearance.

Orphaned Patterns

Randy,

What do you know of the deprived?

You’ve only begun to describe

by crossing vast stretches of desert by train.

What do you know of the rain?

Initiating a stream

filling the vacant bed

with cascades of thread

that lace together your straying thoughts.

What do you know of your end?

Will it meet you on an island

adrift of where you are going

and where you have been?

In Rome you were homeless,

in the cafes a stranger

falling asleep by the fire

before being awoken

like a pariah

and told you had to move on.

Always an outsider

and if there was folly

you travelled beside her

going great distances to behold

that which was novel

only to seek warmth and to borrow

a fabric inseperable from the pattern

you wore as if

the journey never happened.

Without realizing it,

you had been travelling all along.

The borders were formed

by a series of routines,

like a fascade or a sheen

over the comfortable dream of security

you were always shaken from.

Even still there is movement

through the crux of decision.

At every moment

the stark if somehow swirling

black and white of the liminal edge,

an abyss,

an unknown to witness

but never fully grip as you pass through.

You’ve written all of this

on the cusp of transition

between cities all seemingly the same

room full of strangers sipping espresso

spaced out just so

their own worlds have borders,

laptop screens, newspapers and magazines,

conversations soon to be smoke evaporating

into the backdrop of a life in motion.

Habits appear to be woven

temples to the still and the rigid.

Stuck in their fabric,

in their nets longing to be recast

like orphaned patterns

re-united at long last.

By shadowlight and long silences

you can be alone and without scripted statements,

no tense sentence of greeting or goodbye,

for no one knows you in nowhere.

Nothing to expect or respect

exept the slack in the lapses of thought.

No one to meet you halfway,

only the strange language of the wind

urging you to forget what you have learned

and to begin again.