I once wrote the lines that there is no drama in the situation, just orange juice…
There is an almost finished Sunday crossword,
A number two pencil, whittled, buck knife chiseled
Loose leaf scrapes with thin blue veins balled
in the bottom of a blue backpack
Handwriting about frustrations
writers block away from comforts of computer screens
Wendell Berry essays and Otis Redding is moaning about these arms of mine
There is a loneliness that creates comfort
We make lonely into a dirty eruption
Two more than a four letter word
Dirty like the bourbon uncorked a year ago
untouched on a plastic lined pantry shelf
Darling let us make this night hurt
Make me desire the clicks of a typewriter’s keys
high heels tapping along the chipped tile floor
in a beer stained wood paneled dimly lit bar
Out of place
the pink eraser next to the delete key on a computer
the smile on the cashier with her dyed blonde hair at the health food store
putting my orange juice and yogurt into a small cardboard box
Her black roots exposed like her pink lips parted
Not that I am counting but it has been three years and six months
Since I pressed my lips against a woman’s face
My fingers back space in tempo to Otis singing
Mr. Pitiful and it is true I want you, I want you, I want you.
I just never know who.
Instead of love waltzes to a typewriter
I am stuck sliding these rhythm and blues to a laptop keyboard.
After a brief conversation in the car about high school kids writing essays in text message grammar and perhaps the fallacies of these accusations and the apparent ability of today’s youth to maintain a balance our nation’s two worlds of technology, text talk and books and e-readers, I am having trouble avoiding words like dichotomy and other complex sociological and anthropological theoretical jargon. Alas this all makes me remember an old college mentor and adviser whose elegy I missed in Iowa this past Saturday afternoon. For you Mink and for Bill Flanagan I refuse to convolute my words. I will try my best to always write in plain English and avoid all the pompous writing so relished by academia.
If all the movies were in black and white and sepia tones, all of our records were limited to titles including 1947 West Virginia field recordings, there would be no Bill Withers singing about Grandma’s Hands. My Grandma’s hands just turned 87 less than fifteen days ago and still plays bridge with her church friends every third Sunday in Lakewood between Golden and Denver. She still walks the icy stone steps down to the creek behind her house to sit or stand with Saint Francis several days a week.
Mink, there is little to no rhyme or reason to this letter, the weather is warmer than a January should be, and I am fighting a scratchy throat packing boxes full of boxes.
As always god speed lil animals, ride free, treasure your friends and be good to each other.
solidarity and hash browns and strong coffee mis amigos....