when everything was new

when everything was new
"and there was evening, and there was morning—the second day."

i clock out and free-fall
through cracks in my consciousness
and tiny chasms in my will to live this way

i find myself awake,
if not always alive
while everything is shaking,
wasting time, wasting time

in the spring in the morning on the banks of the willamette,
when the sun first caught sight of the rippling shallows,
and people learned to fish
to the poetry of birds in migration
--their songs, their formations, their
flightiness-- i tell my friend on the cellphone:
'i'm on my way to your part of the world'


'exploding like spiders across the stars'

frust-ration! the things i put in my life that i no longer desire. the leaning posts, the place-holders are here to stay. and as i reflect on a short and passionate life on the road - an existence spent seeking out just what everybody's doing and listening to the roar of the interstate and looking up with surprise to catch sight of my first firefly and smiling up at the evening glare of the rockies (the rockies!) - well, i realize ex-actly why it is that i don't write anymore. i know why i wander around this city smoking cigarettes and then commence to hiding in my room.

thoreau said that "the mass of men... lead lives of quiet desperation. what is called resignation is confirmed desperation."

and there i was, reading eloquent and vaguely anti-social prose about "the mass of men" in the center of a river, in the middle of the morning in a great and rushing part of the world, where

we floated streams, and they left me on an island with the craft,
our intentions were sea-worthy if our raft wasn't

and there i was, learning why i always followed the mad ones, the one's who showed me how to "burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles..." and there they were, extracting second-hand cigarettes from the parking lot and stealing abandoned clothes from a thrift store where i bought a long-missing notebook (and the world's maddest novel).

and here we are, with the ecstasy of everything hanging in the stagelights of the evening. and here we are, in memory and bland re-tellings of a life once lived in color and with fury. and wherever it may be

that i wear clothes made of expectations,
and parade through the rivery streets of raleigh,
knowing full well that prison is dry and warm,

let me go there again. but life is not necessarily a free ride. debts accrue and obligations accumulate, and the weather gets cold... then warm, then cold again.

and in the firming up of my resignation to the wealth-holders of this world, i have become only faintly aware that i once had dreams that weren't just place-holders, that weren't simply listings of passions & interests, career plans &
potential vacation ideas. there was a world to see. i was going to see it, when

i was going to the see the world,
but i can barely pay my bills

and here i am, with my backpack in the closet and all my books on a shelf.