Jacob’s Ladder – A Poem

 

Jacob’s Ladder

You see, I am the grandson of Jacob’s
second cousin,
and whatever else that may mean,
it affords me certain
visionary privileges.
So when I was on my way
to the ladder
his niece now maintains
out of a sense of
traditional sentimentality,
I sliced my foot on a shard
of your heart
that lay in frozen splinters
over the ground.

We memorized the steps down to
the banks of the river,
remember?
where the ring was tossed
into the streaming
light
of the gathering clouds.
I memorized the feel of your ribs
through the thin fabric
of your t-shirt
as you slept.

I see an open umbrella
on a hot day,
still white foam conjured in
swirling waters where
two currents meet,
magpies and a woodpecker
in the canopy.

You beg me
for a match
and lighting your smoke ask
if I ever
felt the need
to scream.

Sometimes I answer.

What makes you need to scream?

Thoughts about the grave.

I like to scream in the rain.
Once I screamed
on the sidewalk
outside of a Barnes and Nobel
for so long
that my voice become hoarse
and they called the police.
I was arrested
for creating
a public disturbance.
I spent the night in jail
with a lady
named Judy.
Jailbird Judy.
She was a heroin addict.

There is a gentleness in the way
you strummed
the ripples of my heart
that reverberates
in me
still
like notes played
by a solo flute
in an empty hall.

I know in the morning you
are gone.
The cold north wind has been stirred
blowing across the river
shifting the currents,
and crows have come
to pick at the bones I left.

So that here at the last leg of my journey
I wait
with a bandaged foot
for the Sun Driver
to take me up to the top of the mesa
where Jacob’s niece lives.
I never told you of her, did I?
She is old
now
and living in a mansion
that smells
of Euphrates Lavender,
but still keeps the ladder in
impeccable condition.

For what good it does
she told me once.
Heaven collapsed years ago
due to outside forces
and being internally
unable
to adapt to changing global
market conditions.
All the angles now
live off of the trust fund
they inherited.

She is a solitary creature
by nature
but always has room
to accommodate me.
In her residence I will be able
to ascend the ladder,
to bend my vision
to see beyond the gates, the fiery
chariots and
the crashing walls,
the descending doves,
past military and economic
institutions and
inquisitions,
through those splendorous media
productions and
programs
about serialized consumption.
Visions so distant as
to pull me away,
far from the world,
and far
from my memories of
you.

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7 thoughts on “Jacob’s Ladder – A Poem

    • Thank you KB. It is always nice to read that one’s writting is growing. And I mean to comment more on your posts, but find myself having less and less opportunity to do so. So let me just say that I have really liked all of the poems you have posted, and will work to comment on some of them soon.

      • Joseph, never worry about commenting particularly to say something positive. We are both busy doing what we do. I think I know your sentiments well enough by now from what you have said in the past and by the way you write. From you a “Like” is as good as saying something. Let us never let lacvk of words get in the way. However if you see something wrong, then let me know. But for the rest between us it is good. Best>KB

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