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November in the Forward Earth

In a dream I saw Kerouac
Beside the grey mist bay in the company
Of other writers I also recognized,
And he read from a small pad a few spontaneous lines
Inspired by the view.
The dream lasted only seconds but as I drifted
In and out of it like a boat on his wake,
I scooped up a single line, one line
That he hadn't thought to write while he lived
And so imparted to me in a place
Where he'd never been and knew
I would have more use for it.
So I think of him sometimes and wonder
How he would sketch my days if they were his.
Ducking in and out of crowds and trains
While sharing music on strings with a lady friend,
Laughing as we pivot and dart between couples;
Sitting on a bench in front of some important
Up-lit building in Tokyo, while she falls asleep
In the cold with her head on my shoulder,
And I'm watching two boys running crisscrosses
Back and forth, and leaping and spinning
In a dance rehearsal in the open air,
Because they need the space.
Sitting alone on a boardwalk,
Across an inlet from three submarines,
Like lazy titans sleeping in the fog
With smoke rolling over their backs;
Watching three people on a bike,
Two generations,
Three quarters of a century of love,
Peddling over clunking wooden planks;
A man with an odd way of walking,
A difficult squatting lunge, as if gravity
Approaches him with particular determination
And he has grown accustomed
To resisting its advances;
A little grey man, calm and round-bellied,
In a jogging suit that's not fooling anyone.
Walking the blue street where unseen men
Fight with sticks, and the guttural shouts
And the clack of bamboo
Fall to the ground around me;
Where vegetable venders and young women
In skirts and boots become post-impressionism
And the street noise that would pass
For silence back home becomes
The humming mantra
Of the Buddha himself.
And when I browse the days of my life
For stories worth telling and find
That so much of it is like cracked photographs
In the unadorned black album
In the back of the hutch my father built,
But that the picture keeps improving
As I continue on the road,
I think of Kerouac.
I think
of Jack


woman wandering said…
I absolutely love this one ...

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I think, sometimes,
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but that can change on the way
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turns everything to gold.
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turns the voices into hums,
the walkers into clouds.

But outside my door,
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breaking through planks of wood
that should mean security,
and I’m in their path;
every word an arrow
tipped with poison.

They’re only voices.
They are not harsh;
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They’re not aimed at me
at all. Yet I suspect,
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there are faces attached.