The Specter of an Innocent Age – A Poem

I spend my time
lost in your shadow
beneath the cherry trees.

Schubert’s Arpreggione Sonata
is drawn to me by a feebly
remorseful wind.

Brightly colored boats
dagger across the bay:
their oars cutting into the dark blue water
that reflects a white sky.
The glare burns my eyes
and I seek shelter in the memory
of kitchen window curtains
fluttering in a paisley carelessness.

But even that grows still.
Lifelessly fading until it is no more
than the specter of an
innocent age.

We were the members of an improvisational
generation once who believed
in absolution.
Our spirits moved through dreams
and we would ignite the fire of the world
with our golden breath.

Where are we now?

I am content though.
On the cool grass beneath the bending branches
and green leaves
the day passes.

Your zealous heat
overwhelms me into a state
of disillusionment.

The evening comes and soon
too the night.
I will count the stars if the sky clears.

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North 71 Cleveland – A Poem

“Any,” she says. “Yes, any.”

And so any.

North 71 Cleveland. A temperate mood just like a Floridian evening in June. Patio tables wet with rain; an umbrella silhouette; a man alone in the fog.

“Fourteen days. Fourteen days! and then suddenly one became three and everything went to hell,” the engineer exaggerates.

“He’s working on a treaty with the surveyor,” she explains to me in confidence.

“A bold move,” I reply.

“Aw hell, I am going outside to smoke. Want to join me?”

“Don’t smoke.”

“Aw hell.”

She pairs up with umbrella man and I leaf through my notebook. A transference of company.

I listen. The minister is mumbling as he writes a keynote address. Ice cubes are talking. The low moan of a distant train.

Vibrations from an undercurrent of violence disrupting our natural inclination for solitude.

She returns and umbrella man is gone. The Engineer is now orchestrating a coup d’état. “The dams will be our first objective!”

“He’s going to end up before a firing squad,” she predicts and giggles.

The gray light behind her mutes her features. Her shoulders are wet.

She sips her drink.

“It’s dangerous times we live in,” I say.

“We can go south, though. My sister lives down south and she says its safe. Not filled with all this talk of revolution. We can slip away at dawn.”

“I can’t. I have to go north.”

“Why?”

“North 71. Cleveland. It was on the sign and I have to follow it.”

“A damn sign?”

“It’s all I have.”

Opposition – A Poem

I tear my name apart and throw it into the ocean where the pieces sparkle for a moment under the sun before they submerge and all that is left are the waves crashing blue, white, and green.

Time moves. Clouds cover the sky.

The wind sings playfully to the rain which drops softly into the sand at my feet.

There is an opposition between the three (the wind, the rain, and the sand) and I am left isolated on the shore.

My memory skips and I find myself standing in a bedroom. Or is it the bedroom. I have no basis to differentiate between the two. The place lacks both a sense of the familiar and the strange.

In front of an open door a pile of dirty clothes lies on the floor, and just outside it, a presence languishes in the inky darkness of the hallway.

The sound of robots flipping switches and the smell of burning butter escape from the kitchen.

A Champaign bottle opens behind me. In the mirror over the vanity I see the shadow of a person by the window. My reflection exposes eyes that are clear and deeply cool but I don’t recognize myself.

I am not here I think. But here and there have no relevance.