The trucks that come for us

Sports Utility Vehicles on flatbeds.
Abandoned basketball courts. Backboards
look down like judges robed in dead kudzoo.
The art of checking in to a hotel room.
Tricking the lady up front into putting incidentals
on the company card. The faded gray places
where there once was stark white lines
marking parking spaces. So many engines
designed around combustion sitting in rows.
Waiting to explode. To so much
‘I never could have imagined.’

How tragic.

That red Jeep Cherokee with the crumpled nose.
Just below a second story hotel room window.
Footsteps at six am, at seven cardoors slam.
And sleep. In a place I should not feel safe.

Where the keys are plastic
and so many strangers
also have them.

Yet. Here I am.
Drove down state and ended up a night at Comfort Inn Apalachin.
Just outside Endicott. The highway noise never stops.
New York mountains frame towns and keep them from being cities.
Waking up in April and the world outside is snow white.
I remember. The trucks that come for us.
When cars no longer drive.

One wave after another.

Steady low rush of lines of cars rolling down I 85.
Sounding like a steady river, like a train with no tracks.
Deep, and groaning, and steady never ending.
In the shade of some kind of skin-wilting little shrub-like ornamental trees,
eye shaped leaves, still green, still in the movement of a steady late summer breeze.
Steady like the heat.

One wave after another like walking feet,
curling into worn out shoes, like big black tires
gripping that overcooked, worn down gray rock road,
where the traffic is only either stop or go and never slow.

Just race at breakneck pace or static. Bumper to bumper and in a panic.
For there is no middle ground on six lane roads.
There is no herd mentality grinding into burnt, smoke fuming engines in the distance.
They are all gripping wheels, chipping rubber, cracking chunks of asphalt.
Hugging shoulders. In competition with one another.
None are even considering their tight-necked neighbors.
Or working, slowing, showing caution to avoid the very worst.
Not even just trying to get on home, but,
to get there first.

Pull of All Our Pounds – Old Journals

Car after car, unending, road bending,
engines adjust and then descending,
into distances no one can know.
Not even the eyes that drive do.
Not enough to stop the car.
So they can not know where they are.
Because they would. Stop.
Press the pedals of unfeeling ground.
An ever-reeling mound.
The pull of all our pounds.
Clutching everything around and turning it.
Soft enough we can not feel, like a child,
rocked to sleep instead of awake.
A world that has no brakes,
and the gas pedal stuck, unmoving.

Never losing what is not in some opposite way regained.

Car after car whips by as fast the one before,
ignorant just the same. Each one equally insane.
For no matter the direction they are headed,
each one believes they are in the right lane.

Roads drive people too

I struggle with where to meet people with my philosophy. Often I hear the fallacy in their thoughts, shining like sunlight through patchy conclusions. If I could reduce it to a phrase, they’re not self-centered enough. At some point in recent time most people bought into the idea they fit into a category better than a body. A type. And within that type, certain criticisms, issues, particular peculiarities are bound to exist. Just the way it is. But when I was a kid, I was lectured several times about my type, told who and what and why exactly I behaved the way I did. They laid out menus in front of me, read line item pricing and value and guaranteed down the line quality for their considerations. But I never bought any of it. The clothes were too tight to fit in. The food was too rich to be eaten. I know we bred a lot of reality with symbolism, but I have no interest in living in my own universe like a tourist. I understood why little boys did the things they do. I completely get middle children are prone to rebellion and attention addiction. Trust me, it is not above me that being a pastor’s kid handed me a skeleton key to morality. But ever since the first days I could time out and participate in shaping a day, I have given all my energy to Jeremy. That kid kept me alive when no one even wanted to give me time. He is a mold molder, wants all the windows open, fighting backyard battles long after the lackluster desertion of his peers, a friend to fears, resurrected a kitten with his tears, hidden behind his bed holding conversations with death, reading Romans and arguing against Paul. He was never small, not like the authorities over his life tried to make him believe. But he never wanted to believe, not if knowing was an option. Many have tried, but no one ever, not even his own stubborn little self, could stop him. I can not say I participate in the warfare of types. Jeremy never bought the hype that surrounded his self. Busy building pirate ships behind his house. Scribbling terrible poetry by candlelight late at night, wax still puddled on a desk in a landfill somewhere. Stepping out on stages perfectly unprepared, finding himself more ready than ever there. Truth is, individuality is not a right. It is a fight. And only those committed will understand the philosophy I have created. Which is, all of these types and categories and phrases, are only wishes. They’re only bridges. They only matter when they lead somewhere. On their own, they’re meaningless. It’s hard to speak my way to people defined by where they are on a highway. Who staunchly only ever see themselves as a point in transition, saying ‘well I can’t cross the double yellow lines because of people who oppose me, and can’t betray the white line beside me because nature doesn’t tolerate my tires as much as asphalt, and can’t slow down for the car on my ass, and can’t speed up because there’s no lane to pass, and besides, the world is full of cops paid to keep us right and where we are. I would have to preach down roads, and sermonize stopping your vehicle, just to get you standing up, being, living where you are. Only then could I begin to explain the philosophy of home, of nesting, about the roots of Man and how we are all like vines. Your body is where the energetic stream of your existence touches ground. No matter how high you climb, or far out you travel, or where you have been before or where you imagine yourself wanting to be eventually. You are rooted through your self. And your self is a mutated, mysterious, evolving existence that language is chasing eternally babbling trying to keep up with. It is you. And you may not fit into the type you fit into. And there is a good chance you will have to create the category that contains you, and burn a thousand bridges leading nowhere in order to never have to tear a single root. This is my philosophy. Own the bridges that lead to you. And roads drive people too.