A Cold Surrender

crow angle

Congregate and listen

to stories of the cold.

Visible as a mist

in the vacant bliss of night

neighborhoods frozen

in the moon’s reflection,

everywhere in an amphitheatre

of tangible manhole steam.

A vision of you,

obscured like a dream,

a long angle shot

of streetlight shifting boulevards

with hands in the pockets,

faceless and scarved

in a taxi conduit of coughing tailpipes.

Can these stories be revealed in a moment’s warmth?

Or shivering in a naked decision?

You’ll be fumbling for words

in cafe sanctuary,

mourning this lack of precision,

needing the cover of each other

to complete the prowling exposition

of illuminated apartment buildings.

Bitter’s the taste of victory over apathy, idleness,

the awareness that the cold will call you out

to once again witness

ice on the tongue of its expanse.

Precious this silent gallery of crows,

with mythical angles,

they are black and white photos

gliding over rooftops of snow.

The red brick is underneath a city sealed

the sky

in a thick grey bearded storm

confronting the winter-borne hangman trees.

The leaf’s journey left them bare

but the environs solidified you there

for the time being…

dangling like so many icicles

from the windows of memory.

A feeling of home,

the reeling shadows that roam

to the corners

revealing the echoes

of a foundation that has grown.

Listen, it is still moving

to position itself

under a solitary world.

It is still covering the pages

of an unbounded sky

stretched like a skin,

 a film over the eye’s

impressionable myriad shades

of water finding coves,

finding beauty in the cold’s expressions,

of their migrant habits what can be told?

In their rituals of ebb and flow?

You found yourself long ago

washed up on an island that tendrils

with the tender thrills

of endless skin to borrow.

This is how you’ll continue

to crawl and surrender to

this unpredictable weather

that ushers in the future.

 

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This Restless Collection

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This restless collection,

as seen from the Tobin Bridge.

Shifting scenes

of distant steeples and obelisks

gleam against dusk.

Blackened boats appear lodged

in the deserted clay of Mystic rivers,

a passing stillness juxtaposed

with far neon horizon

glows a fiery pink sun

tied in a tourniquet

of Chelsea street wires

rising in glistening webs

above triple-decker pigeoned beds,

where decrepit stairways

become stoops to stare away

into the still blue hue of the night sky.

It is indeed East

and only the windows

keep out the smell of the sea.

It takes an ocean to remind me

my true current is like no other,

but a restless collection of the old and new,

driven through the rattle of cars,

the racket of hammers and saws,

no construction can cover over completely

its darker history.

Claims of witchcraft, betrayal and mystery,

nineteen innocents strung up in a Salem tree,

stained remnants lifted off of Giles Corey.

A moment for reflection for restless souls

as ancient bells into churchyards empty.

All these layers

held in the ice and sullen brick,

passing through the melting drip of alleys that I knew as a kid.

This restless collection no longer hidden

three decades ago,

the cold rain

washed away the season’s first snow

as it does today

despite what is underneath it.

For every place I’ve been finds the same pattern.

It seems painted and perceived,

if not tainted and deceived,

sewn into the strands I’ve received

ragged from the road,

experience hardened into its frame.

I feel the ravens of memory claw at me,

their restless collection

on unsteady limbs is necessary,

like every tear in the thread,

even if ultimately it needs to be shed.

 

Salem Massachusetts1

A Message. A Mirage.

019 _Shimmering Rt 66___ W of Goffs CA c

We met at the crossroads,

a desert wayside

windswept and in-between

nondescript mountains

marred by cold fronts

leaving marks on the high peaks

just to disintegrate

into the fallacy of black heat.

Hugging your festival fabric,

no more than a discarded heap,

it was singed with music.

Anticipating travel,

you pull out maps in motels

liminal cells to author the unlimited

to commence from nowhere towns

halting the empty space with solitary stoplights.

A brief respite against the all-encompassing night

descending in shadows across our fields of sight.

Soon there will be galaxies over our shoulders,

stars streaming into Cretaceous insects

feeding on the scraps of confinement we lay before them.

The next day the highway was a straight line

for hundreds of miles of mesas and heat mirages

spray painting the desert with abandoned messages,

searching for the remains of an icon,

we come across a cap over the blaze

in the place his spirit went out.

Blackened initials scrawled in stone,

forever scorched in memory.

Dead flowers left in this valley of dry bone,

blues that do not bloom on their own

but bear fruit from within you,

a lonesome tune

that by night floats to the moon

bejeweled in cloud fabric.

Pens become the only friends

that will populate this thoughtful insomnia.

Pulling words from this drawer

the hour would not keep confined

to its dusty enclosure.

Eyes follow the asphalt blur,

writing you choose to destroy by re-writing,

words wet and regenerative in this parched land,

soon tendril out of the sand,

harvested as art,

carefully withdrawn

from the prickly confines of its skin.

Jagged art, shattered from within.

Sharp fragments of explanation

others may gaze into

and find their own skewed reflections.