Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Caution: Here Be Stories

This morning I had breakfast at the local diner, on the highway. It’s been ages since I've eaten there. Six years at least, I reckon. As I imagine is the case with any town or city, there are layers of residents here. From the get-go, it’s been farmers and ranchers, with miners thrown in, later on. Most recently, it’s become something of an artists’ hub; and even more recently, a rafting, skiing, biking mecca.

My first job here was at one of the chain burger places on the highway (within spittin’ distance of where I ate this morning). It was a solid introduction to old-timer/native residents of town. Those who had lived here longer than I’d been alive, and who typically did the hard physical labor I hoped, and still hope I never have to do. They’d seen quite a bit, the booms and busts, and were therefore not easily swayed by any shifty and surely temporary winds of change.

But after three years of working there, I got a job at the local coffee shop (since gone under, regrettably), which hosted a totally different clientele: the bronze and toned jocks/jockettes, trustifarians, and those coming here until moving on to the next OUTSIDE-accoladed hipster locale on their bucket list. From there, until currently, I’ve worked in the hospital kitchen, where I don’t see patients/clientele, but the staff does tend moreso toward the coffee house crowd of my previous job.

This morning, at the diner, I saw more than several folks whom I’d served back during my BurgerLand days. Along with the seeing of them came some of their stories: the rancher who is on constant lookout for 1946 pennies, since that’s the year he was born; the other rancher who was eating with his wife—his brother is married to her sister; the long-ago-retired attorney, who was later joined by his second wife (who also left ten minutes before he did)—he’d send monthly checks to his first wife, writing “Maintenance” on the Memo line, and she’d cross it out, writing, “Alimony” before depositing them. (These years, decades, farther along, that trophy wife isn’t looking much the trophy. Also, more than just eating on opposite sides of their booth’s table, they also sat at opposite ends.)

I put down the book-to-be-reviewed I was reading for the local monthly ‘zine, and began taking notes of my remembrances. “There be characters and stories, here,” I told myself.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Love in Leadville

Lookit you there, Honeylamb
Your cap and gown and polished Ropers
You’d thought this day would never come
And now it’s fixin’ to be behind you

Don’t need to tell you the big old world’s
Sittin’ right outside our city limits
‘Cause you’ve been itchin’ to bust beyond ‘em
Since about the time you arrived within ‘em

But before you stretch those wings of yours
And fly away into those other calling skies
There’s something I need to tell you
For when life clips those wings of yours

Love in Leadville’s
Gonna be there littl’ darlin’
Love in Leadville’s
Gonna git ya through

You’ve got a big ol’ open heart
And though he’d never fess up to it
That’s the heart you got from you old man
But as the saying goes, The bigger they are…

The world is looking for hearts like yours
Looking perhaps for something that they’ve lost
Or maybe instead something that they can’t have
Either way, know I’ll be holding your heart in mine

But don’t go thinking your heart will be all alone
Even though honest hearts can be hard to find
They’re out there for sure, perhaps looking for you
Rest assured it’s not always a heartless world

Love in Leadville’s
Gonna be there littl’ darlin’
Love in Leadville’s
Gonna git ya through

By now you know family reaches farther than blood
And that it sometimes brings in together
What on the surface seems the strangest of placements
For love and family have reasons of their own

So it’s not just your Pa and me, your little sisters
Who’ll be missing you, thinking of your, and praying
It’ll be this whole entire town doing all that and more
This whole entire town will be aching while you’re gone

But there still remains that big old world outside
All those scads of folks who you’ve never met
Who don’t yet realize it’s you they’ve been waiting for
So many wonders await you, so many families too

Love in Leadville’s
Gonna be there littl’ darlin’
Love in Leadville’s
Gonna git ya through

Monday, April 29, 2013

Is It The Same Love?

Does telling your beloved
Ain’t no mountain high enough
Mean the same in LA
As is does in Telluride?

After all, in Telluride
You’re over halfway there
So maybe it stands less than
Half as high, this love of yours.

Maybe love in Leadville should be
Held even more in suspicion
Since at best and by definition
It’s but one-third Mountain-high.

For us in our Cloud Cities
We don’t have as far to go
In order to prove the extent
Of the tiptop of our love.

Besides, there’s probably still
A chairlift in operation
Carrying us there
And no Santa Anas to deal with.

Yet lookit all the smack
We disparagingly throw down upon
Los Angeles and Hollywood
About how their loves are fickle and faint.

Down there in the Land of Make Believe
Their loves are truer, fought harder for
There at the very base of their mountains
And also an Atlantic yet to swim.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Normal Miraculousness

Normal Miraculousness

it’s just too surreal
to really be real
this haunting waning moon
on this vernal morning

my feet firmly flat
on the solid ground
i’m looking at it
shaking my unbelieving head

sometimes it seems it’s
not a real-live place
this where i live
its views too photoshopped

but then this is
how the wondrous goes
how the miraculous presents
its normal everyday self

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Daily Poems 03 - 08 April 2013

08 April 2013
Seasonal Travels

cloud curtains veil
the mountain ranges before
the coming misty rain

sunflowers tracking
el sol's arcing passage
across cornflower sky

river ice stretching bank-to-bank
mallard ducks surf hole

snow angel silhouettes
between footprint squeaks
brilliant white hush

07 April 2013

We are waiting for a rain
maybe some decent snow—
any kind of moisture here below
that’ll soothe the ongoing strain
of this arid valley’s parching pain.
Our dreams filled with overflow
yield the same thin river we know
and longing hopes still wailed in vain.

We are yearning for wetness
to return into the daily living
we tend to overcomplicate.
A something to cleanse away the mess
and to rehydrate with flush forgiving
our crumbling hearts about to desiccate.

06 April 2013
Fenced In

If he’d not already spun over in his grave, Pa
would have cast his blame-filled eyes at our
ineptitude and our ill attempt.
Framing fence fractured. Headstone fallen.
Piss, pies, and hoof prints mucking
the columbines we’d planted o’er him
because they were his, “tranquility blooming.”

Emptied Jim Beams strewn about not erasing
the knowing we’d never meet Pa’s expectations—
our best forever short, intentions never enough.
Though three years passed away this day,
we still put off the necessary, the dutiful,
lest we confront still once more again,
our old man’s glare.

05 April 2013
With the Flow

As the water launches o'er its cliff,
May I fall into the Muses' trance.
No hemming nor hawing,
No looking before the leap.
No questioning my safe arrival
to ground-level below.

04 April 2013
Name Calling

Assessing the properness
of the gifts I've been graced,
Against the sturdiness
of my sense of unworth.
You called me, Poet
leaving no room to wiggle,
And, O sweet Almighty
the crashings of my heart.

Seemed as though my home
was being poured a new foundation,
And with newer bricks and mortar
its bearing walls more strongly shored.
Called me, Poet
as though plain and utter fact,
And, oh such exquisite mendings
these frayings of my heart.

03 April 2013

tenderfoot mountain
dusted by off-and-on
springtime slushy snowfall 

Daily Poems: 09 - 12 April 2013

12 April 2013
We Need to Talk Haiku

shouldn’t be so hard
this daily living together
loving together

and yet all it seems
is hard rather than easy
rather than simple

we’re stuck in our ruts
sticking to the wrong routes
the wrong destinations

let’s come together
as in our beginning when
love was all we grew

when nothing at all
not even our very selves
could come between us

aren’t really so hard
these walls not protecting us
say, let’s tear ‘em down

11 April 2013
A Good Day to Fly

I think today is the day I will disappear
I’ll simply remove my existence
And vanish myself from view

I’ve carried for far too long the burden
Of being always there for those who
Are always choosing not to see

Of laying open my heart to others
And loving in-vein while watching
Ignoring love passing me by

So today I will simply slip away
Going darkly into the light
More fully unto emptiness

Like a coital moan sighed in the night
Like dreams in the broad daylight
Dissipatingly drifting away

This whispered sayonara’d goodbye

10 April 2013
Calling In To Work (Again)

I know it seems to you
I'm always making excuses
Forever calling in
And right when I'm supposed
To already be at my desk
But this time it's for real
(Not saying any of the others were false)
And further it's a verifiable
Act of God
And seeing as how my work
Is itself a Vocation
Hence a Calling by God
I'm calling in to say,
This day, God's calling off
My Calling.

09 April 2013
One morning a man named Ed
Awoke a-sucked in his bed
He said to himself, It's true
There is so much to do
Yet under the covers went deeper instead.

Daily Poems 13 - 16 April 2013

16 April 2013

Sometimes the days
come all at once
and all on the same day.

Troubles assail
tsunami after tsunami
only you in fathomless ocean.

Yet sometimes the days
bring inundations of
joy, graces, blessings, and love.

Still the same
tsunami after tsunami
but such different fathomlessness.

15 April 2013

the wind is blowing
upvalley, so the seasons
are changing

why do the seasons
ever leave this place it’s
so beautiful

but ‘twould get old
same thing month by month
years unending

no break from either
heat nor cold, no wearing any
other clothes

and no chance for
your uplifted face receiving both
mist, snowflakes

and which for forever
would we choose, aspen gold
newborne green

the morning wind’s blowing
upvalley, bringing us something
new again

14 April 2013
Because The Night

This night calls for Springsteen

Not Darkness on the Edge of
Atlantic City Born to Run
Nevada Johnny 99 Backstreets
Brilliant Disguise Hungry Heart

But the post-Patti Scialfa
Living Proof Red Headed Woman
If I Should I Fall Behind
My Beautiful Reward Better Days

Let’s never mind any reason to believe
And so what if it’s one step up
And two steps back because you and me
We know what love can do
When it’s tougher than the rest

This night, this tonight
It’s callin’ for Springsteen
Come next me without your fears
And you can hear it
Bruuuuuce! Bruuuuuuce! Bruuuuuuuce!

13 April 2013

I reach out with my heart
in order to hold yours
extend it toward you, yours—
look, we’re hanging here.

Don’t go leaving me heartless
half-empty, not half-full
fully isolated and abandoned
a heart less, a missing beat.