Memory writes its name again and again in this new day’s ledger, not so much to remember itself but to remind me to remember. I relay that all my scribbled notes and writing journals continually remind me that while the past is absent in the flesh, its voice very much lingers. It entices and taunts, harmonizes and haunts. When memory reminds me of what is here and gone, its words fog the journeyed mirror that is my mind. So, dear reader, if my thoughts seem a bit unclear right now, this is perhaps one reason why.
A mob of my lousy old poems and unfinished thoughts stormed my place last night. They demanded deeper thought, better editing, and completion. I offered them blood transfusions; brain, heart, and limb transplants; checked their ears, noses and throats for infection. With a rubber paperweight, I tapped their knees for reflexes. Once they’d been brought back to life, my old poems began to repopulate my senses, taking extra care to fortify the areas where words had once failed me.
When the man falls asleep at night, his tongue escapes its prison of foggy dreams and wanders high into the Hollywood hills. The tongue howls with coyotes, tastes the color of the moon and bloodsugar of sweet memories ripening on the vine. Of the bawdy boulevard sounds drifting high into the hills, tongue makes up its own words and sings along. Those melodies sail high into the night, past stars and planets, digs the buckshot of disbelievers from heaven’s door. Tongue eventually creeps back home and curls up in the sleeping man’s mouth. In the darkness, the man is once again reunited with his lover, voice.
Bells ring, shadows kiss in the streets. Black cats refuse to cross the road. Dogs howl every top-10 song. Someone is handing out cigars while another person makes a coffee run. Street graffiti rearranges itself into love letters to the brokenhearted. Money starts calling you honey. Fists shed brass knuckles, relax into chuckles. Devotion bears a birthmark shaped like your face. Mailboxes go on a diet, shed all their bills and unwanted catalogs. Gravediggers become musicians. Cows learn the power of now. Death stops pummeling the living long enough to rejoice in your first cries of life.
Fill your jukebox heart with songs that make the living and deceased dance all night. When death swoops in with its cold and lonely tombstone tools, know it can’t break into love. So have it playing loud. Allow your love to be more wonder then war. A mirror of highest intentions. A promise of sweet destination, not grim destruction.
Take me down to where the jukeboxes wear brass knuckles, howl like wild dogs, and play our favorite songs again and again. The place where hatemongers and rustsongers have grown extinct. Where no gun alive ever rests in our palms, or writes our psalms. Take me to the place where the wind steals the suicide note from the lonely man’s hand and offers him a ticket to lighter, freer days. The place where our hearts refuse to lick the bootblack of dread. Where love is measured in actions, not words. The place where hope offers us enough light to write by.
Love whose voice is a river flowing towards sea, whose collarbone is a railroad carved out of ivory, whose pulse is a drum in shaman season. Love whose hair is sewn into the wingspan of grace, whose belly wild dogs recognize as the moon, whose imagination has survived a baptism of floods and sings the sunrise in perfect pitch. Love whose mouth of echoes always sings back our way, whose eyes of honeysuckle midwives birth pure sweetness, whose hands dig down deep into the underworld where we waltz amidst the wreckage and the dead.
Early morning birds create Jackson Pollock mad splatters of melody on the canvas of quiet air. With their vibrant voices come a sky bluer than blues, a new day painted with rhythms that stick to the ribs when all else leaves one hungry and searching for more. When the voice bone is connected to the breath bone is connected to the soul bone, morning birds banish all cages. No excess feathers weigh them down. The song alone is their flight into the alive.
The astronaut floats through space, untethered In an abundant field of absolute bright. Reach for the hand of the astronaut. Together, determine which points of light can be pinned to the lapel, or are forever lost. Folded within our world are so many more worlds, some made of nothing and silence, others made of things as precious as oxygen and love. Wrapped within our words are so many more words. Some so easy to express, others that leave us wondering how to describe this untethered floating, the occasional yearning for a new North Star.
The astronaut floats through space, untethered In an abundant field of absolute bright. Reach for the hand of the astronaut. Together, determine which points of light can be pinned to the lapel, or are forever lost to us. Folded within our world are so many more worlds, some made of nothing and silence, others made of things precious as oxygen and love. Wrapped within our words are so many more words. Some so easy to express, others that leave us wondering how to describe this untethered floating, the occasional yearning for a new North Star.