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 cowardly.

In Woods Hole, by the bakery that my grandmother used to frequent when she lived on island, I am looking on 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.

Like my hands on your skin, my writing these days is often lost and aimless. It is as if I am looking through the dark for something,  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 illuminated night- calling out a rainstorm of idioms and eccentricities by way of 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.

Cape Cod is a Rocky Mountain ranch style house filled with 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 now 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, while the carriage shudders with the pressing of the the keys, lurching forward and then suddenly back.

I know I want to be home. I know I want to be in a little corner in the garden, where we christened a place of bonfires while drinking Rosé. That night I still had poison ivy grafted to my forearm, left from the time Brendan pushed me into the brambles while we were running to the rhythm of crickets and laughing through fields of gnat flies.

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