The Summer Triangle and a Land of Abandoned Lake Houses

I saw a photo of you in an ocean-going canoe. Not so much one designed for it, rather, the old beat up one that you kept among the brush and the sand dunes. The one meant for a pond, made of cherished and dented aluminum. I saw you amongst the floating bits of ice in the ocean. It’s been a long time since the oceans frozen over. I’m not there to see it.

In this winter, I’ve been experiencing a nasty case of cabin fever. From inside the dust is falling like snow into drifts in the corners of the trim board. I can see it in the sunlight of halogen lamps. Up here, where the mountains rest and the air smells sweetly of abandoned campgrounds on the banks of Lake George, I will follow 9North till I run out of gas or the engine seizes. Which ever comes first. There are signs of scenic overlooks, and from them, I could observe that mountains on the far bank. It would not be long before I hit the pass.

Where you are, in a little ocean-going canoe, I hope you check the charts for rocks and the stores stowaways. Hastily made liberty ships sailed these waters once, and met the torpedo and the iron hull of the submariner. In silent ice water rust the wrecks of Nantucket Sound.

Write soon then, and write often from your arctic expedition amongst the icebergs and the fjords in that winter landscape I left behind. Trespass on the yards of great manor houses and wander the streets of the home country while you can. For there will come a day when you too will find yourself in a tiny apartment up north, looking for the sea on which you might launch from a beachhead of frozen sand and snow, a vessel without sail and a cherished hull. Navigate by the winter sun and the remnants of the summer triangle, and for a time amongst the icebergs, we might never grow old.

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Ode to Steadman

In beeswax leather, and in morning frost, I can find you still. Here, in the garden, beside the snow drifts that look like the sight of some ancient avalanche, where we lost three skiers last winter. I am waiting with a steaming mug of something alcoholic.

In Woods Hole, by the bakery that my grandmother used to frequent when she lived on island, I am watching with a puzzled look and a borrowed cap. I am watching a man smoking a long cigarette and dressed in overalls shovel snow away from the door. The smell drifted in over the thin air, and it reminded me of bonfires. There was a blizzard bearing down, and it was an hour and a half before the driving ban was to be imposed. I’d made that venture to see a friend I no longer see any more.

-Casual sex will do that to you.

Like my hands on your skin, my writing these days is often lost and aimless, as if I were looking through the dark for something. As if I were stumbling over forgotten affects, looking for the path that leads down to the water’s edge, and the pond where we used to sit in pine trees and smoke cigarettes.

Feels more and more like I’m wandering the projector night- calling out a rainstorm of idioms and eccentricities, having taken in herbal entropy. More and more I feel we’re losing touch with the selves we were beginning to know, back when growing up only went in one direction. Feels more and more like seeing from the eyes of some brilliant madman in sneakers, armed with an IBM Selectric and a train ticket to the campaign trail in the 70’s.

Maybe I’ll see you around sometime, though I can’t remember the historical precedent. You’re standing near an infinity of shorelines- lighthouses are a common thing in a land of bonfires. I aimed a twin lens reflex I had in my bag and you smiled. But I can’t be sure of who you are. I have too many friends I don’t see any more.

-This is not necessarily because of causal sex.

Cape Cod is a maelstrom of everything I used to be- a landfill of old tapes and old manuscripts. Antiquated selves are collecting like nets on the docks, left to dry by fishermen with heroin problems with cracked hands that have felt more than their fare share.

I want to ask their story. We’re sitting in the air that smells sweetly of diesel with a puzzled look and borrowed boots of beeswax leather.

So I’ve begun to evoke the madman himself, to find some answer as to how to continue. I can’t see out the windows, but I know that the train is still moving, the carriage shudders along with the keys, lurching forward and back-

Don’t I know I want to be home? Don’t I know a little corner in the garden, where we christened a place of bonfires, drinking Rosé with poison ivy grafted to my forearm, left from the time Brendan pushed me into the brambles, running to the rhythm of crickets, and laughing through fields of gnat flies.