Sunday, January 29, 2012

No drama in the situation, just orange juice

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.

Dear mink

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....

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A christmas and new years letter to winter and Muskrat's first letter to MInk

Here is a short spurt of short sputterings and oil pan drippings from Muskrat to winter and the introduction of a collabration between Muskrat and Mink ( Enjoy...


There is a slow crack forming along the lip of his coffee mug and his orange juice was lukewarm and everything he wanted and more.  Muskrat ran his thin black comb through the hair’s circling a thick crescent along the side of his head.  The stockpot heavy with arroz con gandules, pigeon peas and achicote powder and yellow rice were his latest discovery.  The house smelled like a home and bacon sizzled on the stovetop for breakfast as the espresso simmered in the metal percolator.  Outside the mist turned to a meditative drizzle on the skylight, cold and heavy.


The snow sits heavy and wet on the raised beds while tomato cages hibernate nestled inside each other’s skeletal frames.  It is a gray silence that covers Albuquerque tonight, bike paths slick and tempered with slush and settled exhaust fumes.  December 26th and fireplace smoke loiters lightly under the lampposts at four forty five in the morning.  A post Christmas brisk bites through the black bandana wrapped around his face and Morning is still a few hours sleeping behind the Sandia’s. 


Staring out the cracked blinds Muskrat’s been accused of never opening, there are a few errant snowflakes and a car bending the corner slow and methodically.  Somewhere down Comanche there is a basketball hoop stretching its neck from an evergreen.  There are old western paperbacks strewn across the desktop and Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash singing duets over the record player. 
It is still early January and the anxiety of a new year still resonates in Muskrats stomach.  The clipped edges of his thumbnail pick at stray hairs on his arms and blue pen ink stains dot sporadically along the veins in his forearms.   Muskrat has been mentally staring off into space more often as of late.  Some people call it the mid winter blues, Muskrat called it solace and wishing for a cold blast of air against his face and for winter to compliment his new pine green sweater and argyle socks. 


Dear Mink…
            Kris Kristofferson is singing over my dad’s old record player nestled next to my wooden duck lamp and a crate of old blues records.  We had a five-hour bust of a winter storm try and punch its way through the city this morning.  A dusting on the foothills and a crisp in the air, enough to remind a Muskrat about the things and smells of winter that make us fall in love with seasons, any seasons, seasons associated with new beginnings.  Kristofferson is complaining and mumbling romantically about Sunday mornings and hangovers.  I’ve believe I’ve booted that can a few times he watched the kid kicking, if there is something in a hangover and a Sunday that makes a body feel alone, there is also a relief and beauty that a fresh punch of cold air against my bearded face on a sober feeling Sunday morning that makes a Muskrat feel alone and ecstatic and alive.  There is a sobriety that makes a body feel like its redirecting its sinews back where they started twelve years ago when neglect and abuse and trains and a few broken ribs introduced themselves into his way of thinking and living. 

Here begins the letters of Mink and Muskrat… at least on my end the letters of Muskrat to Mink.  God speed lil animals, love your friends, breath in the cold air into your lungs and relax, take care of each other, yourselves and as always live free, ride free, solidarity forever in struggle for labor, life, love and living a life worth living