Thursday, May 22, 2014

Poem: The Train to Unattainia

 “You don’t have to understand everything you see. Look for something you can relate to. It’s just taking you on a journey to places you haven’t been before. That’s the important part.”
            --Margaret Wingrove, choreographer

The Train to Unattainia
I inhabit the space inside the wall
after the flip of the switch but before                              
the dark of the bulb
I am a ruthless cowboy semicolon
forever inserting myself into conversations
riding the hum of the intermission
crowd like a sailor, tying silk scarves around
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
sunshine 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 disconnect
a palpable lack of direction.

The needle winds its way in and out of the continental fabric
pulling me along to Cheyenne, Wyoming
where my siren, Improvisia
stands upright on a green sidewalk

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 published in di-verse-city
Austin, TexasWinner, Second Prize, Austin International Poetry Festival 

Photo by MJV

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