hladová zeď

The ancient Soviet pipes,
Left the water tasting
Strongly of Iron
from the kitchen sink.

The old TV tower, like a monolith
Alien in the sky over
The Jewish quarter,
And the medieval city.
The cluttered old cemetery.

Night bus like a chariot.
They’ll sell you water
For a few Crowns, but coffee is free.

My home is somewhere far off,
An old house near but not on
The coast. Where it is quiet most days,
And nothing spits waves high above the trees.
There is no hunger wall, no old fortification,
Climbing the hill.

When the shock wore off,
My boot socks had worn through
Leaving blisters on my feet.
I can still taste moldy cheese,
The day after I left.
Like broadcasts set high into the stratosphere,
Linger in the air
Of decades and centuries prior.
Or at least, so says my guidebook
Of the Charles Bridge.

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Brno

When you realize, the new sense-
By the neon light-
Of the sex shop sign,
and the Soviet era tram system
grinds along steel lines.

Strange shock for the foreign frontier,
Where I came to purge the untrue self, or just as well
Rattle him.

Close your eyes, and think of England.
Isn’t that what was said before they were shot
With soviet made ammunition?

The back of the skull.
Former BLOC. Midnight bus
Through the lives of others.
8:15 exactly. Start the bus. Start again
Homeward west.
Start again.IMG_0187

The Duke of Galway

To the rattling and shifting Irish train I’ve been listening to a recording of Duke Ellington’s “Caravan”, which has cast the glow of a cigarette smoked basement club in the 50’s.

But of course it is not, its fluorescent lit and a terrible tacky light blue and ever so slightly off white. Over the last hour to be honest it’s started to give me a headache.

But in the rattle I can feel my hand steady myself against the exposed brick masonry, and the sight of the rail car ahead of my own moving slightly out of time with my own feels like improvisation (though I know well and good that it isn’t).

But in a subtle and repeatable moment on a train to Galway, my heel cannot help but tap on the carpeted floor as though the spirit of some grand company possesses it from decades prior. And though it is neither significant nor remarkable, the strange ramble keeps me good company along the way for a short while.

Costal Roads Taken at Speed and With Great Velocity

It’s in those moments, clearing my sore throat and feeling the scruff of my face against my hands, late at night in my dimly lit dorm room, that I’m drawn into a sort of trance. Back to the days of high adventure, of a romanticized and imagined past contained in a dark parking lot with a single car billowing steam from the hood, and four young men standing round laughing, having torn up the gravel just moments before.

Its in the moment on the dock before I went home with you, and you kissed me on your hard bed in your grandfathers basement, and he died three days later, and I wondered if you ever understood that horrific symbolism. Or if you understood how the blazing taillights of my car at night on their way past Nobska, were like a farewell to the warmth of that summer, embracing all of the things in that small world I loved so dearly.

It was in those moments before it all fell apart, and I fled and reminded myself of the growing power beneath my feet. It was a time of life, and of an infinite and hectic glow that rushed from a high point overlooking the sea, down the winding costal road, past bonfires dug in the sands, toward the rush of life on Cape Cod in the summertime. A time when I felt most myself amidst the cool sea air that blew thick with salt and the essence of July and August.

Laughter in the dark of the green, A bandana tied around your forehead, the way the street seemed alive with an endless handful of months, and an honesty that maybe I just imagined, in that manic dream of that seaside town I swore was real.

I swore under my breath when it was proven outdated. I kicked my desk into the wall and left a hole in the drywall one day I’ll have to explain to you. It’s a different kind of madness, a different kind of wanderlust and fear and paranoia and fright for my life that I’d never felt before, shrinking into dreams of past youth and of the golf course where we loitered and of the sprinklers we dodged and the fires lit and the beer drunk and the cigarettes smoked and your smiles and how in this short happy life I feel I have lived a thousand times over in newly uncovered memories.

Memories uncovered when the mood is right, and the campus sleeps and the cassette deck hisses and I hold my unkept face, and how I haven’t showed, and how I fear for my life as a coward before the whistle and the pulling upward with both arms over the wall. Because in every recess of my life, despite the life lived, I am still in want of the immeasurable years, and of a life both beyond this town, and contained within it. I am in the taillights that wound along the costal road at speed, wishing for understanding in the shadow of the terrible knowledge that comes with age. Knowledge that I am the poorest at ignoring.

Random Recollections and a Feverish Misalignment: Harbor walks no one remembers. Yet it is always a pleasant surprise, when an old friend remembers my living room

This afternoon, I found myself missing that noble and desolate season that can only be found on the dock by the drawbridge in October. Wind swept- the sea turning sour. From these banks I might stay indoors and watch the rain make its way down onto dried leaves and run with Water Street in a dim daylight that pulls away memories formed in the garish lights of the summer night. Back when this was our mutual meeting ground. Back when the porch was filled with glazed eyes of familiar faces from grade-school. These days our friends, and our acquaintances drift from here and all that are left are the sad ones, looking over memories from the safety of smudged single pane windows. Working behind the counter of the old haunt.
These streets in winter spoke of long gone footsteps. Between school days, weekend nights spent in kitchen and taking care of the neighbor’s cat. Wandering the harbor’s edge, speaking quietly of nothing. Trespassing empty homes and gated neighborhoods. Of kisses on the living room couch and my little brother’s attempts to ruin dates. I waited under the light of the ferry office for the bus with an old friend once. The old tree on the Green became a perch from which to observe the quiet street below. I had just started drinking coffee then. I remember the taste in my young mouth in winter and of freckled grins and of the dusty air of the stagecraft room where we spent our afternoons.
I guess there’s not much more to say. I miss that season of years. Of a feeling of unity of self I never knew I had until I lost it. Ages go by with alarming frequency. I know that now. In part of me, I wish to abandon New York for a time, and return in search of something I can’t put my finger on. To try and return on an empty dock overlooking the water. The sea has turned sour, yet the spray is salty and the same. Time to steady myself on the empty season, and shove off again.

To a Man With a Pipe, Unused for Years

From this vantage, I see you of so missed childhoods, of the white canvas sails of Wild Harbor’s rocking vessels. 

You would have painted her with watercolor on thick paper, and I with my pencil.

Where the Knob extends out onto the sea, it is covered only by the sky and the flickering trail of loosely held flashlights.

How I have wanted to gaze on my back at that endless pool, thinking of coffee dates, of teenage girlfriends, and of winter-locked walks. 

How friendships rift, and the view of their ever-changing play in the tides is mesmerizing. 

I painted us watercolor, and it rain together. I cried in the arms of a grandfather clock. 

When rummaging through the draws in the empty bedroom, I found a pipe next to your Colt .45, and a sketchbook you once kept.

The safety catch is broken, the pencil lines are smudged, and now my house smells of tobacco. 

If only I could tell you of my life, beyond what little you knew. 

From this vantage, I can feel your voice in watercolors,

And from this vantage, 

the view is breathtaking. 

In the Style of a Bus Dweller, Fairbanks Transit No. 142

For what, if I have yet to depart among the many mastheads of Falmouth Harbor? For what, if the ferry has carried me to and from the Island, but never across the sea?

I have been far and wide in my town; found the hidden places like a maker of maps; carved my sign in white chalk atop many walls and glacial debris.

Kitchen dweller, living room busker, drinker of tea and coffee at inappropriate and strangely kept hours. These things and more I have become. I have become one to think in the ways of mystics close to death, looking for the mundane and forgotten stains on our charts.

The shoreline of our futures is rocky, and littered with forgotten hulls, which we shall one day explore like children. Through rust holes and creaking iron, we shall follow the oxidized corridor in search of meaning like a long lost and waterlogged cargo manifest; the ship’s log disintegrated in salt water.

For what, if I have never been across the ocean ti Iceland, carried by a coal steamer built at the start of the first world war? My dreams, like such laden tubs, carry me there at night. Someday perhaps, I might feel the strangeness of foreign wind; feel the home of a thousand homes, while leaving a well-loved and glowing kitchen at night, far in the distance.

Yet even here we are travelers of a home town, of the familiar and static places we lean against to better look at the clouds. In the way of a decomposing bus dweller overlooking the Sashana River, I found my way to an unexplored place, I simply forgot the map.

Perhaps that is all I will need, to complete this strange navigation.

I Have Returned for a Night to Andalou

I’m back from the long night, where the frames ran like an old film reel- antiquated and magic in strange technicolor grain, fading, and then all at once becoming real again.

It’s as if the light that came to my eyes was rain flying with varying strength, stopping for breath every few moments. All the while, the ocean emptied its cool salt waters upon the shale of my rooftop.

Can you feel that midsummer wandering? Time speeding and slowing, the sails open and take in the wind while we silently tag along, like children holding their parent’s hand.

I can feel the dirt and the wet grass underfoot, ever-constant before it turns to pavement, then to kitchen floorboards.

So here we wander, like children again, returned to our old state, as old states and old souls in the ’60s- feeling what it was like to live without such noble and modern fear. The car bomb and the kalashnikov cut through your eye, and in the middle of a gathering crowd, someone’s hand lies on a street in Paris.

There’s something garish to our glowing odyssey, like fireworks set off from a golf course. Back yards in July are foreign lands for a night.

Only pilgrims traverse the empty streets now, watching explosions in the empty sky, staggering with a grin.

Untitled from the Notebook

I can’t say I’m one for a rainy Tuesday. There”s the smell of coffee and the sound of drums in the distance. I can see shreds of the long winter resting on the ground. 

I can remember your run down little kitchen, when snow fell and the radio hummed a warm heatless sound. Electricity that pulsed in winter, and we danced and the faucet leaked and I was content. 

Days like today remind me of you, though I can’t quite remember why. Maybe it was all the hurt on both sides, yet I felt nothing but the October air blow in through my open window. 

But that was years ago, and I still can’t remember why.