Daily Archives: April 13, 2016

Fear Of The Dark

Not feeling much of anything;
my face hovers, detached,
no light from within it.

If I were to float back up — get up there again
where the sun shines hot and then
track with it around the planet,

I would surely shine. It wouldn’t matter
that it was not my own light. I recall 
the heat, remember what it was like.

Instead, I’m bobbing along down here
with a seared, dimmed face, loosed
from my moorings, trying to illuminate

this thick night with all I have,
though I can’t feel what good it will do.
Not feeling much of anything, in fact, 

beside fear of the dark.

 

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Next Door Up The Hill Lourdes

Sometimes I wish
we lived in the woods and 
things were quieter and nominally 
safer; but then

Next Door Up The Hill Lourdes
brings over unexpected
baked fish, rice and beans
in a reused cold-cut container,

asks to borrow ten dollars
till Tuesday. It’s a pretty good deal
as she always pays up on time
and the food, fish or chicken or 

steak tips well seasoned and
always with rice and beans,
is always at least good
and sometimes far better. 

It’s not anything more 
than a city neighborhood
— rarely too quiet,
sometimes too loud, but overall

not terrible — a little too tightly packed perhaps; 
in winter we shovel our own driveways before helping
each other, but we do help each other;
we don’t call the cops, handle our own shit — 

barely look up anymore
when I do see them, guns drawn, arguing 
over who covers the back and who 
covers the front when they go in

across the street and come out 
disgusted, shooting me
nothing but a dirty look when I smile and wave
as they drive off empty handed again — 

maybe next time, guys, maybe next time,
though the person they seek moved away 
months ago and we don’t know where he is,
really, not a clue — 

it’s a city neighborhood, the low end of town
hanging on the side of a hill that’s never plowed in winter,
a place where we plant backyard gardens
in one small patch of sun — we make do, we get by, we make it work.

Right now for instance,
I’m sitting outside enjoying this baked fish
as Next Door Up The Hill Lourdes sways,
a little tipsy, up the street to buy

more sweet red wine and then home to her TV before bed. 
I think she watches game shows, the volume turned way, way up.
From my steps I can hear the applause, I can hear the shrieks
of someone, somewhere else, winning.


On A High Old Bridge In The Dark

Once, I walked around on fire.
Left no bridges for miles behind me.

Someone said
try writing it out,
it’s a good
healer, a good quencher,
you’ll be
at peace.

Safer now,
older now,
I sit up late
and spill into 
paper and ink 
the fuel that once
would have been held
under pressure
within.

The ink
never smolders,
the pen
never scratches out a spark,
the paper
never ignites.

Where did my fire go?

Standing on a high old bridge
in the dark, 
in a place I’ve stood before,
looking down into the white water,
feeling nothing.

Can you tell me why this is better
than burning?