Saturday, February 15, 2014

Poem: The Train to Unattainia

The Train to Unattainia

I inhabit the spaces between the walls
after the flip of the switch but before
the dark of the bulb

I am a ruthless cowboy semicolon
forever inserting myself into conversations
funny how it always seems to cause

a pause
riding the hum of the intermission crowd like a
sailor, tying silk scarves around
each of their slow-nodding heads and

the rise of the curtain my only ticket in.

The only breath I take (breathe)
comes on the twentieth mile (breathe)
of a thousand-mile drive
when I know that turning around is no longer an option
the early morning sun blowing through the vents like
powdered sugar

I go to the land where nothing can be had
running down a long hard ribbon of willful disconnnection
a lack of direction so palpable you could
cut it with a compass

The needle winds its way in and out of the continental fabric
pulling me along to places like Cheyenne, Wyoming
where my siren, Improvisia
stands upright on the green edge of a sidewalk
blowing smoke into a renegade sun

In one hand she holds a book of songs
in the other a bucket of blue paint
dips the one in the other till the
color bleeds out the notes

She hands it to me with an Andalusian smile and says
Here, it’s the one you asked for
open it up and
sing, baby, sing

First printed in Austin International Poetry Festival Anthology
(Second Prize)

Photo by MJV

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