My latest wonderful world has been Alberta Street, home to pirates and clowns and creatures of the earth who favor bicycles and body ink. For an incredible week I revisited an old dream and entertained the possibilities of Pieroska – an old grocery owned by “the mad russian” named Joe and his wife Elizabet who talked to me for an hour in broken sentences about her Hungarian mother’s legacy and how they cannot sell the building. Instead they’ve let it sit empty and ramshackle and we could see such potential in the high ceilings and storefront space. A church of sorts. The body arts, photography, catering events for last Thursday – a good dream, whole and intact, requiring hard work and willingness. And fallen through today, this dream, due to a lack of trust and uncomfortable mirrors. We retreat to our discomfort zones. How am I like an old multi-millionaire who sits on his wealth and shows up in dirty shirts with grime lines on his neck? Joe’s shithole building could have been beautiful under our ministrations, only he would have needed to let us work our magic, and he didn’t want to after all.
It was a passed dream, not the end of the world.
New places bring revisitings of old, you know? and if you’re me…more poems.
here’s about that:
[oh and in this state of passing
to become a standing wave
awake at rest In the moment]
no more melancholy [because] the golden
past is still ringing
true in my ears. This dream
was a good one. So have been
I will drink toast after toast
around the head to good friends
sit on porch after porch
with my feet propped up, [laughing] & speculating
this is a golden spot, true –
[just as Eddie the collector, a mad poet exclaimed
as he wandered past the fig tree in the backyard
with the letters in the beds of blueberries
These are the letters I have
OM PEER SEEK BASS
[robert’s] the wee cabin, the hammock and mound
This is where I came into this world
A fire divot and characters, all these famous people,
anonymous. Sitting around a scratch in the backyard
burning wooden letters salvaged
from the dumpster down the block.
Stehl & Kasey & Robert & Erika & I [choosing difficult]
Love is a goddamned magical thing.
And I came back to the world in fits and starts,
wrapped in a cloak on the front porch
writing poems and hooked on
breaking open my heart.
here’s another from that first fall in Bellingham:
What I know:
I am permeable. I take in
many things. There was a time
when I believed that what I took
in would not harm me.
Sundrop behind the island
the mountains are outlined
in snow and dusk, the bay
is calm, the water glows
a bit pink and the birds rise
off it to circle the sky.
Shoreside, there is a smokestack
a herd of boats in harbor, boxcars
stopped on the train tracks.
I drink my hot chocolate
out of a styrofoam cup.
What it is still hard to believe:
This pink tinged bay is full
of mercury. The smoke from the stack
at Absorption Corp. creeps dank
in my lungs with the right wind.
I don’t know what is in
this hot chocolate either;
the plastic lid I keep raising
to my lips.
I am permeable. I reap the consequences.
I pin down the earth just like
I will be grateful anyways
for the joggers and the cigarette butts
and the dried up leaves. This day
is passing, another will follow.
I will drink it in and breathe it out,
let the implications move me
past remorse into a fierce
love for all of us
who are not safe,
who are not harmless.