I don’t know when that name entered my ear. I remember hearing it was where my father won his first case. He must have stayed a while, maybe in the Mark Twain Hotel. Maybe actual brown bison watched him from a field, or a commemorative mug with facts about megafauna and the quaternary extinction event. They still have some in the zoo, their shaggy mountainous shoulders permanently hunched in preemptive defeat. Each time he returned from whatever city he would bring a snow globe back for her. You could turn or shake it and see white flakes far too slowly descend through some eternally clear liquid onto appropriate plastic landmarks. Among them people stilled in the act of moving agree life is elsewhere and the past by nature misremembered so they shall stay forever here and be loved. O happy shadows of the ordinary. A collection of plastic half eggs translucently covering various mid-sized cities cherished on a mantle grew. I don't remember seeing Peoria, maybe that was before the first time he had almost not remembered and with guilty gratitude stuck the far too expensive trinket in the pocket of his overcoat, running to the plane soon to be filled with that once ubiquitous smoke. It flew through undefeated years of night toward our capital. I had not yet been born. Here I've been slowly learning to speak to those purple flowers in their language, in which Peoria means mountainside hidden in productive shade between the orchard and the dream. It’s where they grow. I see the planets glowing on a wall above my own son's bed. The past is always misremembered. Hold it to your ear. It has the sweet hum of the superstore buried inside an apple. You can almost hear it say be glad your father never told you elsewhere, that's where life is.
Another cloudy day and whatever combination of faculties and flaws I need to start another diurnal journey seems to have been cored out of the brain I filled this morning with grey vital thoughts to be instantly forgotten. I know I owe that man a response though I am bewildered and someone I barely know sent me a small beautiful book with an owl on the cover and told me its force would accompany me everywhere. I don’t know anything about owls except they are formidable hunters and not any wiser than the rest of us. I am overflowing and if I were able to make a single wish it would only be for quiet in my mind which I probably wouldn’t like. No, it would be to remember the irretrievable names of three people on a train moving through a night full of a language none of us could speak there would never be another joy like that one and I can’t even picture their faces. We know from the earliest stories some deity was always telling a pitiable human he could not go on without deciding what every single thing is called including those little yellow flowers I can see from my window but it could not be done and now it’s spring and there are still so many nameless flowers that will live and die without ever having wanted anything.
Poem for Thane
Brother in song we really did live on a street named after a bard I kept looking him up then forgetting it felt like he was sleeping across the street in the coffin factory once we took the tour everything shone a great amplitude they were wonderful those black containers in that inimitable nameless shape one even vermilion a luscious green lacquer I still painfully covet when the guide stopped we knew he would say who wants to try one of us did it looked like he grew up to be that child who finally knew what happens if we give up wanting to have something to say we stood there the low green hum in our heads almost said it’s ok cross the water
Report to the Clouds
1. We watched a video of spiders horribly hatching then a butterfly almost being eaten by a cat then people filling a hopeful alley with foreign song dear vapors you don’t care at all you don’t even think poor creatures to you we are dead already feeding the grass you don’t care that there’s no escape to the park for another impractical lesson about sharing what belongs to everyone with young sociopaths or burying our feet next to the coveted train are you not even a little bit sad about the empty tunnel or Florida’s giant palms impervious in their own shade Florida malarial land it’s too late to give back to anyone another text arrives it says cover our erstwhile faces I am writing this quickly under black actuarial clouds the rain keeps us inside this house full of books that almost audibly dream in the other room letters are scattered and a torn book about frogs contains a great solution outside some brave children pretend not to be rescued by the fire police and scream they will love each other forever the rain like it has been here all along arrives again insisting our door is also something gray one more time I read the book about things that come from eggs and the mouse chrysalis so rare it does not even exist the worst month in history has not even begun soon I will reveal my plan for a theoretical garden and now it is time to end this report to you and draw another distant tree 2. the swing rests in quite prolonged morning darkness and the lone shoe just like tomorrow will not leave its environs the wooden fence watches an animal watch the warm fortunate light of our home and shiver the trees in the yard almost say we know it feels like everyone else is dying but you are too 3. Children reading endless linked stories on the grey couch faded by light through a previous window can see the green park as if climbing down the concrete slide an abandoned truck in one hand then hurtling up the chipped blue ladder instead of this couch waiting for some god to come and say now it’s safe to walk through the finally harmless air. My son can almost but not yet say he is tired of being so loved. I gave him some sand with tiny magnets in it. He made a structure then sang tower to the skies quietly, into his hand.