Note From My Moleskine #14

August 31, 2009

18 August 2009
Owl’s Head, ME

The headlights stream across
a cul-de-sac lawn
Jack’s just sittin’ there
He’s got no clothes on
He’s got blood on his hands
and fur in his teeth and
a big Buck knife sheath strapped
to his left arm and about
three hours to catch the bus
to Fort Drum.

Jack’s father rolls up, steps
out of a car dressed like
a cop.
“That your blood,” he says.
Jack says no. Dad says,
“Well, we’ll see what we can
do about that before you go.”

The river moans.
My headlights cut down everything
I see.
Jack flies out to defend me
from himself. His father
pretends to protect me from
himself.
The river moans.
There is nothing left for me to cut down.

Note From My Moleskine #13

August 31, 2009

17 August 2009
Owl’s Head, ME

The woman’s floppy, stupid-
looking hat accentuates her
oldliness
as she death-kites
clomping from tidepool to
tidepool,
searching through her
Gilliganism for a memory of
a kite that doesn’t kill
anything.
unsuccessfully.
She saws her kite
back and forth
gaining speed as the kite-
teeth slash and wail
at items and people worth
hundreds of points at a
glancing blow
She has already crushed the
high score, her initials burned
into the sky next to an
exponentially rising score and
above those of the former
champ, “DP 4 LF.”
Blood flows into the sea
in velvet rivers, makes a
pink foamy brine around her ankles.
She cannot believe how easy
it is to kill with this kite.
She swoops it down and to
the left and cuts the legs
off an entire Boys and Girls’
Club barbecue. 12,500 points.
She swings it up through
the cloud of ponytails and
hot dog buns and debrains
King Tut, two giraffes, and
a team of ox-drivers.
8 million points. A hundred
people die just looking at
her. 400,000 points.
“I have never once enjoyed
DP,” she thinks. “It always
seemed so gay to me.”
Her wrinkled fingers twirl the
kite-strings, which leave
purple, painful channels
pressed into her skin
like an evil child’s geometry
homework.

Note From My Moleskine #12

August 31, 2009

7 August 2009
Saratoga Springs, NY

8 males with graying beards
dressed like boys in high school
slappin’ each other and talking from
the bottom of their throats
pantomime masturbating, and
drinkin’ in the hot.
Dudes. Dude-in’ it. Fuckin’
each other’s girlfriends
and holdin’ on to a youth
that wasn’t nothin’ to hold
onto when they had it.
Makin’ bets on the present
with their kids’ money.
Going home to sleep it off
on mom’s couch. Sayin’ “I
love you, mom,” and meaning
it. Their girls are home
with kids or with the other
girls. Or workin’ shit jobs
waiting for one of the
dudes she doesn’t even
know she’s waiting for to
come in and flirt over cigarettes
and change, doesn’t even know
what’s coming for her, but
wouldn’t really care if she
did. The dudes. Out in the
hot. Smokin’ butts and talkin’
’bout their father’s boats, their
grandmothers’ money. Doin’ nothin’
but scraping and weighing others
down, makin’ them hard and soft
at the same time, like a
train-hopper with a trust fund.
They’re in the sun, they’re
with the dudes. They
haul washing machines and build
roads and loaf and feed you.
It’s summer, baby, not a care
in the world. They mow your
mom’s lawn, say “hey ladies” to
strangers, they shy away from
bets on their futures with their
parents’ money. They ain’t tough, but
they ain’t nothin’. They’re the dudes,
man. Some of ’em are rich in
the others’ eyes, some of them live
better, got better girls, better boats,
better game, better throwing arms,
and they always have, since the
dudes began at age six or
sixteen in a parking lot or
at a barbecue.
But they don’t care about any
of that shit; they’ve got the
sun and the boat and your
girlfriend’s hot sister and Budweisers
and the lake and the
other dudes and good, hard jobs
or a good, long couch and a
big TV and
they take no shit that they’re
aware of and they say “fags”
a lot and get drunk enough
to forget the heavy shame and
shyness that grew up with them
from the fathers they swore never
to be but couldn’t help becoming
and they’re here, out in the
sun with the dudes and the
beers and they earn their
keep, such as it is.

Note From My Moleskine #11

August 31, 2009

6 August 2009
Latham, NY

No, sit,
stay.
The horses will be there to drag
your earnings into the smoke-veiled
ether tomorrow,
or any other time you seek
to give in to chance.
There is something here–
amongst the buoys, the Stewart’s
nightcrawler cups, the choking
water chestnuts–
that you will miss if you don’t
stop to give it time to
splice again.
See the barge across the river
motionless, collecting mussels,
baring its rope-stays to the
sun, dressed in the
municipal yellow that excites you.
Listen to the spin-cast reel
expel its line from behind
the fisher’s sun-brella.
Smell the sweet rotting water,
full of things naturally going
back to the way they were,
tinged with the town dump,
full of earth-farts and blue
flames.
Feel the hard stone of
god-knows-what-this-was
on your skinny ass-bones.
Look! Kayakers. You are jealous.
You plan to emulate.
See what you have learned
by putting the cart before
the horse?
You have learned your own jealousy.
Jealousy can be good if you
eat it like breakfast,
and turn its energy into
a part of you.
It is only when you seek
to digest others with your
envy that it becomes a sin.
The jealousy is not theirs,
it is yours.
Envy is not an enzyme:
It is food, and yours,
but if digested properly
and paired with the heart’s
aperitif, becomes quite
catalytic.

Note From My Moleskine #10

August 31, 2009

17 August 2009
Owl’s Head, ME

The islands are shrouded in
mist that cannot be burned away
no matter how hard the sun tries
to fix their lumps and spines with names
sitting here inside the bridge
of sloop Jake D.
I see pimples zits and
pockmarks on the surface
of the sea
The buoys hold their places
caged below:
cannibal lobsters
caged below:
sea urchins’ sexual parts
caged below:
money, money, money,
to fix the truck
to pay the mortgage
to get us through
to get us by.
The sun fights with the fog.
Inconclusively.
Green crabs hide,
they scuttle in and
about
and around each other.
they pinch my fingers
they eat my toes
the salty brine washes away
my blood
seasons my toes
like beef
Take my toes, I think,
The sea does not own me;
This is charity.

31 July 2009
Buffalo, NY

I am not Dante’s rock pusher
My load will stay
at the top of the hill.
I am not in Hell,
and have no plans to return there.
Little vines of yellow flowers
wreath your head,
cocked at an odd smile
and shining with the sun.
You are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
A thing you aren’t
Your warmth does not come
from where the others’ warmth
comes from,
it is all around me
it is from you
it is of you
I sleep in your warmth
like there is no danger
like I’ve never heard of danger.
This is a problem,
as there is,
and I have.
I must learn to quell
the danger — this is impossible,
this is a fantasy —
or learn to find your warmth
when I face you with open
eyes — this is easy,
it is all around me.