Bright Yellow Down, #228

I can feel it
slipping away,
my grip on this project
and this world,
the words
and the works
that have spewed
from my fingertips
and my lips,
the stolen moments
when I can
sneak up
on the computer
and not be bothered
by either the wife
or the sleepies
or by the customers
who need me,
when I would most
like to be sitting
by the river,
the long slow river
constantly slipping away
and behind it,
the river
constantly coming,
time and age,
the hair hung
off my body
and the flesh
which grows
imperceptibly lower
each day, imperceptibly
fatter until one day
I think my body
will be nothing more
than an overripe grape
leaving stains
on the floor.
I can feel it
slipping away,
the long slow slide
of my IQ
down the pipe
and the drain
into the sewers,
down to a point
where I won’t realize
the agony of the locale
in which I reside,
some old folks home
left here by my kids,
left here to die.
Even though I don’t
yet have kids,
haven’t yet fathered
a brooding infant
or brood of infantile
who would continue
whatever family defect
has made me
like this,
the wooden spoons
and grease saved
in a can
on the stove,
to be carried out
to a barrel
in the back yard.
How those long years
of vomiting over
the used up waste
of life would effect me.
I can feel them
slipping away,
those long old years
and the memories
that started
as beams above me
in the living room,
beams hewn
from the largest trees
the Catskill mountains,
in a thousand years,
could sprout upward.
As I sprouted,
those mysterious, cliched
small town ideals
became a foundation
below my bare feet,
a basis of gravel
with a line,
bright yellow, down
the middle, white
lines on each side
and then nothing
but shoulder and dirt.
My shoulders, dirty
from playing
out in the woods
all weekend
and taking no time
to use the soap
my mother packed
in a plastic bag
and shoved
in the pack
next to a pair
of clean underwear,
which of course,
I would be forced to move
around and ignore
for the whole weekend,
wanting to feel
some modicum,
some hint of the “authentic”
outdoor experience
that something in me
was sure it had missed
by choosing to incarnate
into this particular time
and place and body.
I could feel it,
even then,
slipping away.
And yet, rather than
playing to catch up,
rather than grasp
onto the recessed
handles of my madness,
turn the accelerator
and head off,
snowmobile of anger
beneath me, bopping
over the mounds
and the precipices
of my shortcomings
and white snow
painted over earth.
Rather than taking
an active time
to actively seek out
the answer, to climb
up the steep cliffs
of the slow
rolling Catskills
to the feet
of Rip Van Winkle
or whatever knight
has taken over
his long lost post
since his slumber
must has fallen under
the weight of
an endless history,
even the sleeping body
must die. My father
in his mutated wisdom
would swear
that on the day I
was born, one could feel
a change in the wind,
a turn in the road,
bend in the long
river like ripples.
I can feel it
slipping away,
my own heartbeat,
my own desire
to continue
on with this life,
my own platelets
and capillaries
threatening to fall
right out of me,
seep out from
under the toenails
and the cusps
on the prints
of my fingers.
What good
does it do anyway
to keep on
with this charade,
to catch up with this
dying project,
to go to work
and go on today
with this plain living?
The monster in the mirror,
face that faces me
each morning
and curses
the very sight
of me, the one
growing older
and fatter
and less living
by the moment,
suggests that
the only value is
to better feed the worms
at some point
in the decaying future.
I can feel it
slipping away
and through me,
the long slow
slimy bodies consuming
my flaking off flash,
right down to the heart
of me. Until nothing
is left, not
even of the creepy
crawler’s feces.
The earth
that is the earth
is falling away
from itself, falling
back into itself.
Merely dirt to dirt
and nothing deep,
nothing dug
up. I should quit
this living forever.
Fold nothing
into nothing.



A day is not done, until it's filled with words.

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