Saturday, June 20, 2015

June 20 -- Traveling Poem


  1. Going to You

    I feel summoned by you
    But am I summoned to you?;
    Going to you, I feel as though I'm gaining everything.
    I"m getting everything,
    Everything I always wanted.
    There are times I wonder
    What I'm leaving behind,
    All that I'm leaving behind.
    I know there are dreams to come true there.
    But what about the dreams that are still to come true here?
    How can I just let go,
    When I haven't even let go.
    Leaving dreams and lovers for no reason.
    At times I find that reason,
    And am filled to elation.
    Forgive me for ever wondering if these thoughts make the gorgeous statues of my past jealous.
    I thought I could make them come to life
    And breathe as I do,
    As they could,
    As they really did in my most beautiful daydreams.
    But it hurt to return to statues,
    Over and over again
    Like idolized Davids
    Who kissed only in fantasies.

    1. Great poem. I really love that last part especially!

    2. fascinating use of the statues. love that.

  2. ‘78 packed the house
    dog at our feet
    cats in the bug
    hooked to the truck

    Ontario to Portland
    didn’t miss California
    I was with my
    best friend

    fell more in love
    with my lover
    fell in love
    with Oregon

    ‘82 packed the apartment
    bug in tow Dad, Mom,
    Sister, her husband
    rescued both of us

    in my

    1. this is an abbreviated version of a poem I wrote a few years back.

    2. It's a great poem man. I love that last stanza. I think anyone who's spent any time in Oregon loves it except for Lewis and Clark, who hated it. What did they know anyway?

    3. but Portland didn't have the Blues when Lewis and Clark were there, or Powell's Books.

  3. Racing Pigeons

    There was a hobby he had
    Racing pigeons
    My dad was taking the crates
    to a far away place
    to start the race
    And driving to get back
    before the homing pigeons
    would return
    to clock in the birds
    Every race had a season
    And every flock had a champion
    or so you hoped
    In this raising there was one bird
    that stood out from the rest
    and I got to name it Ali
    After Mohammad Ali
    At the time he was on top
    of the fighting world
    this time he was on top
    of the loft, the first bird back
    From Weed, OR
    Flying all the way
    back to Tehachapi
    The trip we took to take the flock
    up to Weed was a long trip and
    gave us time to talk and get to
    know each other
    There was the talk of responsibility
    But that talk was a broken record
    There was the talk on politics
    and the way voting was separated
    from the total vote to the delegate
    which went over my head at the time
    but I didn't want him to think I was confused
    There was the talk just to talk and keep awake
    He was a good man and I learned a lot of being
    A man and how you make decisions in life
    We seemed to endure the trip
    But it was enjoyable at the same time
    Even though we both knew it was long
    just to see who had the fastest birds
    We did clock in Ali being back first of ours
    After he came into the loft to eat
    Ali had a rubber band attached to his ankle
    With a number on it
    and you take the band off
    and put it into the timer
    and turned the key to stamp
    the exact time the bird clocked in
    We didn't win
    We were not even close to winning
    The neighbor down the street who
    made the same trip with his birds
    in crates in the back of the truck
    had a better time
    But the time to compete
    and drive your birds
    That time seemed like
    it was what the race
    was about
    I think about him
    and the difference
    he made in my life

    1. That's a great memory and a great poem man!

    2. "i didn't want him to think i was confused" = awesome

  4. We're Stranded on the Side of the Road... and it's all your fault


    Ow! Stop it
    No, you stop it
    I'm telling



    You two better knock it off!

    Mom, she's touching me
    No I'm not, she's stupid
    You are!


    Stop hitting me!
    I'm not, she's lying
    Nu-uh, you hit me

    Shut up both of you, or we'll pull over and leave you here




    That's it!


    We're lost!
    It's all your fault
    Nu-uh, you started it
    How are we gonna get home?
    I don't know


    50 yards away...

    How long should we wait, before we go back and get them?

    1. That's a powerful memory! Were your quiet after that?

    2. Ha! For a while...

  5. I could travel with Sal Paradise
    on a flatbed out of Cheyenne
    headed for Denver in the cold
    hobo night drinking whiskey

    I was once on the road alone
    too hitching rides from Seattle
    on the way back to California,
    a dozen rides and as may stories

    I guess I was my own version
    of Dean Moriarty wanting to
    head out with nothing behind
    and everything ahead of me

    When I think of what I left on
    the highway in those strange
    chromed adventures howling
    the raggedy madness of youth

    I think of Jack and his novel
    and what America looks like
    when the sun goes down upon
    another day of forgotten words

    1. That's a fantastic poem. Send that to the Chiron Review. I had all those same fantasies as a young guy! Still do sometimes.

  6. Some very interesting concepts for travel poetry here.



    She stands there
    In the crypt of a broken novel,
    Waiting, at the peak of her potential,
    Personality growing. Learning.
    With all her life ahead,
    With all her plans and yearning
    Torturing her heart.
    The seed of a half-formed thought taking shape,
    She prays, unanswered, forsaken.

    1. Great poem man. It was a good poem, but that last word really made it!

    2. i was about to delete this one until i added that last word and then I realized why I had written it. It defines the loss I feel for that character who to me is a real person but at this point I realize is unlikely to be born into the general conscious and so in a sense will never have lived because the architecture of the story itself is unmarketable (something you warned me about long ago when you read the first section). But yeah the rest of the poem would need work to get it to where it needs to be. I feel very unsure of myself in revising poetry btw. It feels like handling something fragile and I'm afraid to break what's right about it. It sure is different from editing a novel. At least it feels different to me.

    3. I think it is different. The shortness of a poem is often a gift. You can break rules and mess things up and there's still power and beauty in a way that doesn't work with fiction. I always keep the drafts for that very reason.

    4. Also it seems like often the power of a poem is in the ecstasy of that first read which depends on a subtle balance of words or rhythm which can be easily lost with edits. You can no longer re-experience it for the first time to see how it compares to the experience of the first read after you adjust it. Leaves you in a wierd situation of losing the ability to evaluate the edit. It's sort of like when I used to smoke. That first puff is always the best.

  8. This beach was magic and then it wasn’t
    She and I— we lost something and that process of disappearance
    Got documented in my car trips to this strip.
    You — who have lost your house, your husband, your dog
    And even the keys of your broken computer — you get this. We sit and watch
    The waves and you offer me a joint and sympathy. You don’t try to
    Make it right. It isn’t. It can’t be. That trite tragedy of how you
    Can’t make someone love you rolls over me as the waves beat back
    The sand. We sit and smoke it down. You are broke. I am bereft.
    The water works its way back and forth. We inhale the last of the hit
    The bitter smoke that never gets completely exhaled.

    1. I love this: "That trite tragedy of how you
      Can’t make someone love you rolls over me as the waves beat back
      The sand. We sit and smoke it down"
      It is trite, and it is a tragedy. Nice.

  9. The Ride Home from Town

    I curl like a cat into the warm basin
    behind the passenger seat listening
    to the low roar of the road below
    the ding of tires hitting gravel
    rocks pinging against the chassis.
    My parents’ voices form the melody
    to the road sounds’ bass line as we move
    along the night roads. I feel us sway
    toward home and try to read every turn
    after the railroad tracks’ bumps – this
    is where we leave the town, this is where
    that big tree stands, this is where
    the big kids wait for the bus, this is where
    the road changes from smooth black
    to bumpy gray, this is the dog running out
    to greet us and we’re home.