Your memories are no help to you now
Look! Call! Plead! Beg!
They'll never come
Like trying to touch your own fingertips in a mirror
Your imagination can be washed out by a good rain and that future you're aiming at? You think you're the shooter? Hah! You're the target
This leaves you exactly here, exactly now
There is nothing else for you
Watch the cars, watch the trains
Your lesson awaits you there
I'd be the guy that uses a time machine to visit the past, and immediately meet a wonderful girl who then perishes in the catastrophe I wasn't allowed to prevent.
Later, on a beach and down to my last pair of jeans, with a beard and my naked feet calloused from shells, I'd find a bottle with a message - a heartbreaking message from the wonderful girl! "My love, meet me at -" and then a water stain smeared the latitude and longitude, rendering them indecipherable.
Months go by. On my balcony in Del Fuego a lizard is sunning itself. On impulse I try to catch it, but it darts into a crevice. I poke into the crevise with a stick, and withdrawing out the stick I find a key on the end of it. The key fits a door in the basement - a door no one has opened in years - it is clotted with dust and webs. I turn the key in the lock, and swing the door open to find myself in a familiar room, and in it is the time machine. I step into the room - the door behind me closes up into solid wall. There is another door in the room, which is one of the ways out. The other way out is to use the time machine, the controls forever set to the past, to the catastrophe. Somewhere there is a ticking sound, and a fly meanders through the air.
No big news?
I woke early
In the dark I faced east
And I willed that sucker up
Now there it is
Hanging in the sky over the Panera
Where Gloria is behind the counter
And says my name with her accent
Y'all can share my sun
But don't blame me when it hits 90
I just got it going
What it does after that is what it does after that
Believe me, it's difficult enough starting
There are clouds tonight
Crowding around the window to get a look
Tonight the curtain goes down
Tomorrow it comes up
The script has been hinting, the playwright reticent
But the music plays
The enchantment's on
The clouds' invisible silent clap
There are mysteries to me
Cats, large, smell-less, unpurring and wary
Could be sneaking around Stevie Wonder's house, making things disappear
We have our own cats
That thing we do, we always do, we shouldn't do
Beyond a blind spot - there's a deafness of the soul
The maids have conversations:
Do we tell Mister Wonder that a cat licked his toothbrush?
No, let's just rinse it or get a new one
Hey! Your soul is deaf! You can't hear me even say that, but I wouldn't say it anyway
Because my soul is deaf too
It's verging on summer but the temperature hovers at 59
If you were visiting from another planet you might think it was a lucky day in a mild winter
So you do a magic trick for that kid In the shop where you get your coffee
There's people walking to the stadium like sports at church on Sunday
Sitting on a bench eating a plain bagel
plain New York bagel
Why do people think these things are special?
They're just bland out of shape donuts that no one paid attention to in the manufacturing process
They're only good as a sherpa for something else – salmon, peanut butter, bacon, a schmear of something:
"That's you, Lenny," says Lenny to Lenny.
The kid in the shop is too young to grow up remembering that guy who got the coffee and a bagel, and did a magic trick
You, Lenny: God has decided that you die texting
I went out whispering in the storm today
5 minutes past the hour with oh so much to say
A paper prepared, annotated
The wind took it immediately
And fluttered it up and away over my head like a bird dying backwards
The storm laughed as she squatted and pissed everywhere
Ho ho ho! Ha ha ha!
Under my feet were trampled wild flowers
Sodden from the rain, but I think they thought they were crying
A pocketful of tears, a pocketful of flowers
They'll buy you nothing once she stands back up
Ask your question, Luke, she likes questions because she loves her answers
I leap out of bed ready to kill it!
But first I have to take my pills: the one for diarrhea, the one for constipation, the one to lessen the amount of snot, the one to keep snot freely flowing, the blood thinner, the hair thickener, the light green one (I forgot what this one does), ginkgo to improve memory, an adult gummy, probiotics, turmeric supplement, fish oil, lavender chew-able, that other one that I always drop...
Done! Ready to go!
But first I have to run in place 10 minutes. 2 minutes. And then do a dozen full burpees. 2. 2 is a lot. And I'll use the stationary bike... tomorrow.
Energized! Set! Ready to go! Ready to kill it!
After my shower. Jeez, look at all these skin tags. And the love handles. An entire fire department could grab hold and there would still be room for the Knights of Columbus. What asshole came up with the phrase "Man Boobs?"
Done! Pants...?... Pants! Phew! Wouldn't want to repeat THAT mistake! Lol!
Onward! Kill it!
But first feed the cat. Open the blinds. This one is lopsided. Broken. Jeez. From outside it looks like my house has had a stroke. Set the heat to 60 because LIPA. Shoes... oh god, who put my feet down there?? Grrrrrrrrhhhh... hip replacement someday... what's that doctor's name? Schenectady? Topeka? His name's the same as some shitty little city I used to drive through in college... Wilkes-Barre! The ginkgo worked! Where are my keys?
Ready to kill it! Yeah!
And bounding down the steps like a boulder of doom!
Garbage. Garbage day. Fuck. A raccoon got it in and there are coffee grinds and chicken bones all over the goddamn driveway fuck me. I'm gonna get rabies all over my hands where's a bag? Pick this shit up...
Ok! Ready to kill it! In the car! Oil change overdue. But only by 3,000 miles so no biggie next week...
...look at that sky... ...look at that... ... ... ....
Uh, the time! Press start. Flip it to drive.
Ok! Ready! To! Kill!
But first coffee.
The ship creaks back to life
The crew breathing to their hands, into each other's hands
Flinging the breath into the sky
Raining back down as tiny pricker mist
A whale groans, miles away
With the opening of a barnacle crusted eye
Spies glow fish
A chevron formation of them
Swim off into the darkness
The whale decided to follow and eat the road ahead
The captain thinks
Perhaps we'll finally get home
Incessant accordion music in 3/4 time
And a pounding on the barrels
Slobs, sans teeth
cavort and smoke
Happy strictly in this moment, in this sliver of time
Before the approach of the rainy season
After the underground work is completed
For the dull men of clay
"Let me dance, too!" The thin voice of Billy the Cripple
Back and forth on his wheeled board
Under the radar and under the skirts
"Let me dance, too! Someone dance with me! Someone?"
What strange dream are you pursuing, Robert? What nightly goings-on cause you to labor in the basement after even the cat has gone to bed? Some contraption to print money? A portable stage for extravaganzas? An electro-magnetic stimulator to revive the youthful glow? Are you reading Nichirin Buddhism and Napoleon Hill, trying to figure out how to fill all those holes you've dug? The basement is a mess with all your abortions and ill-conceived notions. Come up out of there! Come upstairs and, uh... watch tv! Rachel Maddow is on. She's a delight when she trolls the president. Please, Robert! Come up! ...Oh, for god sakes give it up. The rest of us can't sleep when you dream.
No one ever showed me the mercy she showed me
as if she knew the center of my system wasn't the sun or the planet
but rather a pocked little moon
on the far dark side
"Train your telescope there, Lesperance!"
"The mysteries continue to elude us!"
"Double check the calculations! It must be in the heavens somewhere!"
There are many cups in the cupboard
And many glasses and mugs – some actual glass, some ceramic, some tall like a highball, some stumpy
A lithe young man with coffee to go slides along the sidewalk
I'm a squat chewed plastic cup
But I'm full, goddamnit
it's the coffee in the am
the chit chat and the interruptions
the skinny pants and the skinny jeans
and Buddhism and Mahler
charcuterie and students
the wisdom the other one has
"Oh fuck fuck fuck... I'm up a wall here. Up a wall."
come down and sit, the whole world can wait
the whole world can wait for us
perched between the barbs
on the edge
of no man's land
in the morning
in the mist
reduced to worms
turned to ashes
the very air a commingling of
fear and desire
The bird takes to wing
In the morning
though an invisible sea of
fear and desire
over where you cannot land