from the vacant stillness

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from the vacant stillness
of late august
in maryland
i’ve been long ago far away

follied down a well
after false premonitions
of foggy discontent

& beaten

brown as mulch
on the shaded concrete

a boy asleep
on the bench next to me

how long has he been here?
before i interrupted his space
like a trumpet crooned
child laughter
out of a fourth story rafter
in the middle of the day

i was left addled
and paid for
on the front porch swing

shucking oysters & idling
a billy-goat in the dandelions
roaring in the garden

the yawning ardent want of wandering to wild
this earth is wild
no matter how many highways we wend across it
how many miles we surpass rain on semi-trucks

i’ve been long ago far away
as ranch cattle staid
on the wyoming prairie
that begs to be a desert

to be freed
of the cud
& the chewing
& the spitting rails
& the rank spittoons out of old beer cans

skunked radishes
in scarlet’s garden

the iron swelling
of the arab spring

bowled over

in the belly of late august
the vacant stillness

of waiting for fall to furrow its brow
over a dusty stack of textbooks
browned at the edges
& in rings from black coffee
remind me

of when academics sat
in smoky wooden lecture halls
& took themselves seriously as a yellow legal pad
scratched over racingly in dogged precipitation of waltered suprension

and we
the masturbating library fiends

are at it again
sneaking up behind quiet
suspecting young women in white make-up
laced tight in the night as bourgeoisie buggles that break
under lightning in an eye-dropper

early morning deemsters
like pancakes & bacon

are worth waking for
when your body is aching for more
than what it got the night before
with some loose cannon rooster
strut-slutting cock-lockety across the street
in an abbey road daydream

on a monday afternoon
in the hot attic room
dropping grizzly b-more believe drones
the re-verb static moans
falsetto scratch-back tones make me geek out

like i’m red lean buffalo meat
sold pre-packaged saran-wrapped with coleslaw packets
all sting

like the back-snapping pains
of illegals

their homes
all ramshackle adobe in the red hillside

has eyes
& has steps carved of dried blood

from cracked man hands
& old mother birth wounds

are black ink
blotched all over
my clean white hands
like childhood arthritis
like patella-femoral stress syndrome
E.T. phone home—earth to author earth to author

can we cut it out please
with all the earth-to’s?

who ever said i want to come down
from my head in the clouds?
so long as my feet are on the ground
i think i’m doing okay lately

i’ve been lolling about milling
& walt swoops down & accuses me
complains of my gab & my loitering
my cloistering of cloth garden rose dis-symetry
my finicking-trinksing
soft-staking love-making
in the hollow drum belly of djembe night in late august
humidly settled down
& blowing on tea

we take our time
about delving the old mines

left abandoned mid-19th century
the homestead act

would give you 160 acres
and a mule
for the worst hard time
is the same as this one

but now we are here to bear bull run
dressed in fine linens

but wiltered by noon
is like an oven already—


(Feature photo by Justus Heger)