A tab under the tongue:
follow me she said

down concrete corridors down
stone forest paths down stone
parapets down temple stairways

where the fire burns, curling fingers
inside, where the warmth is always.

Haven't you ever watched the smoke
she said, gasping, staring
bare and broken to heaven.

up against the wall beneath branches
on this soft beach grit and grinding waves
I can only say yes

 

 

There are two sides to every story

sometimes, more than two

 

As I worked hard to interpret my dreams, with and without

outside assistance

I was alarmed to find

that I was constructing a wall between life and my


dreaming self

who has traveled abroad and is

much better looking than I

 

One of us is going to have to change

 

 

In my dreams, I try to sleep alongside old machinery in old brick buildings. The machinery and the walls are between various states of service and disrepair. Open gearboxes. Dry, whining bearings. Dry rotted belts. The cable and circuit board guts of motor drives with LEDs blinking green and red and yellow. Damp, unlit corridors which have been abandoned. Grease. Dust. Coolant. Oil. Grime. Brick walls, brown and red.

My bedroom is a factory floor in a sprawling dream town. It is Gary, Indiana. It is Detroit, Michigan. It is Decatur, Illinois. It is Manchester, Berlin and Mulhouse. It is pieced together from places I have been and worked at and places that have never been.

I wake up with machines all around me and the workers milling about. Now that I am up, I need to attend to something that is in disrepair. I am so tired. I bury myself in the blankets and desperately try to get back to sleep. I am so tired. My veins are filled with battery acid. The acid is charged with worry. The worry will not let me rest. I am so tired.

I almost felt you touching me just now
I wish I knew which way to turn and go
I feel so good, and then then I feel so bad
I wonder what I ought to do

If I could only fly, if I could only fly
I'd bid this place goodbye, to come and be with you
But I can hardly stand, and I got no where to run
Another sinking sun, and one more lonely night

-Blaze Foley

It’s dirt on both sides                                                         It’s a rose garden

and I don’t speak the language                                          you don’t have to

 

So I’ve taken to painting                                                    paint.

cross country trains                                                            Take me through Berlin

 

My carrier pigeon                                                                grinning like a child.

wings coloured like peacocks

Perhaps because he was born in Russia,

and I was not

and his given name was Israel Isidore Baline (Beilin).

Perhaps because our paths never crossed

although his 1500 songs are not imaginary,

every Easter Parade,

every White Christmas,

every God Bless America,

is an invisible chain, enslaving

me to this man called Irving Berlin,

who has been following me

my whole life, from Broadway to Hollywood,

since well before his death in 1989

at the age of 101.

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