Pull up sliding and gingerly crunch into the same tire tracks.
Snow, five inches of new, ten inches of old.
I’m blinded by the absence of headlights.
I’m walking now on memory alone.
Slick and hardened ice where the big trucks drove.
To a giant red paneled barn door officially frozen closed.
With a shovel from the shop, the door is unlocked.
Welcomed by blacker than night.
The blackness inside a barn before dawn.
Noses shovel pine chips in the wings. Muzzled throats
rattle and a great fuzz feathered floppy bird croaks
like an old man lifting up off a couch.
At the end of three hundred blind feet I grip
the splintered lip of yet another door. Slide it
heavily from existence. Eager eastern newborn
light bursts past and two hundred pupils shrink back.
Morning has come.
Oh you life, pompous and loud, loopy yet proud. Lightning crashing parties in heaven.
At the entrance telling lies that barrel down deep like thunder, a second too late, truth debates shaking ground from sound, flustered, rippled air. The clouds hoisted rain withheld, dangled, above head, just out of reach, beyond, water in aerated ascended ponds casting shade and crooked lines so thin you can see through them, translucent,
as rain rapidly sinking, the ferocious storms of real, devoted thinking, consideration. Uncompromising. Life, oh, how there are those who paint you anywhere
other than in raging weather, wind leaves trees giant rustled chickens
flashing pale upturned feathers, branches falling crashed lightning but closer,
nearer, thunder felt under feet, in ankles, before there is time to even hear.
There are those who do not know the meaning of awe.
Most feel only frightened, tired, ducking heads, cowering out of the rain,
cursing an unknown creator seed-planting our pain. Oh my life.
When I was a child, how I loved the sunny dispositions of my parents.
And vilified their strife. The complex truth of their life.
The disparate realities of parents.
Oh life, like parents, your love, your presence, is one of many forms.
But it wasn’t until I was grown and worn, that I found comfort in storms.
The things I have done have climbed inside my hands.
Used engine oil. Black grease spiraled out an iron jack.
Dad swears it once held up the entire house.
A touch of rash off a three leaved brat like a bracelet
decorating my wrist. Inch long scar from a bowsaw
when I was too young to have had one. White lightning
sunk into my right pointer knuckle from a kitchen knife
I’d forgotten I’d put in the sink. Green veins
peek through stretched thin red window panes
from so much sun the past few days.
The dent. Where the pen sinks in. Black fingernails
half step between pink ivory keys on a self playing piano.
Where there once were blisters.
As if I wasn’t going to remember.
It is all perfect. This is all entirely correct. The small-
ness. The triviality. Sheer, daunting, cliffscape minute-
ness. It is of vital importance. In every pursuit except excuse.
Or alleviation. From the one inarguable commandment of life.
Let us start at the beginning. At the heart.
Each tiny minuscule cell beats. Contracts.
No heart is squeezed, or pressed, or gripped into action.
Just broken into a trillion seamless pieces
All showed up to orchestra rehearsal on time
Ready to start.
No matter the proportion.
All life is collaboration.
And the further we stare exclusively outward
The smaller, less consequential, more unimportant
Because there is no universe to know outside of us.
Everything we are meant to know can not be avoided.
You are Atlas.
The boon of self awareness.
The realization that you are currently highly covetable real estate in the universe.
You’re third violin in a symphony of millions.
There isn’t one cell in a sea of heart.
You are the heart.
A heart cell.
To declare the answers to those questions are and have always been within.
And the only way to claim ignorance against them is to ask them out loud to the world.
And never whisper them alone under your breath.
If you ever so desired to learn if there was a secret purpose to life
Why should you need to ask anyone else other than yourself?
We are taught, first, desire. After that. We are free.
To bend all facts into confirmation with our conclusions.
Desire plus history multiplied by tradition equals expectation.
Which is the bane of contentment.
What if we were taught, first, anything except desire.
Perception, born of reception, as simple as keeping eyes open.
Especially when everybody elses are closed.
We would see. Maybe. Desire is nonuniform. Flighty.
Expectations are founded on desire like blueprints are paper.
We end up putting poems down in concrete.
Currently reading a canon of popsicle sticks and Elmer’s glue.
It’s not an accident. It isn’t coincidence. It’s birthdays.
It’s Christmas. Allowance for doing the dishes.
All hopes and wishes.
Everything parents ever wanted but never received.
And so, we were taught, first, the desire to be deceived.
Who will care if the answer wasn’t in you when you started.
Who minds that you made it up.
Improvised as footsteps on stones across a running creek.
Write the wobble. Write cold water halfway up your calf.
Pouring in the open mouths of shoes around your ankles.
Write until you grow numb and blue. Keep walking.
New people. New conversations. New problems.
New shirt. New shoes. New continents.
No trail where you walk.
Make a mess of it anyway.
Write it urgently.
All the time in the worlds you write is yours.
Still laughs like a little girl
Where comets come from. Yes, you are brighter than any star in the sky
and you have a magnificent tail. But I’d love to know where you dwell.
Should you choose to take me there. Until then, I know you’re a sign.
Of something. Beautiful. And terrible. All by your lonesome.
You’re a volatile couple. Ashley. Americanized Cinderella.
Do I know how you hate that. But we love you for it. Honey.
I need you. More than I have ever let you know.
This has all been for you.
In hopes you’d give some back to us. You’re American.
You’re British. You’re Scottish. And gypsy. And arrogant.
You are America.
You are the cloth high up on the mast that catches new wind first.
Before the sails that push the ship even.
You move your own direction. Respect.
Head nod. Eye contact. Embrace. Stoic face.
As streams rain down and embers soar, sparks fly.
Celebrate. Nothing more. Than more light in the sky.
Sulfur smelling air. No care.
Dressed eighteen hundreds.
Beaming in red bursts with white gold finish.
Smiling steady in sporadic flashes of darkness.
So. What can I call you now. Jeremiah? Jeremy?
I hope hey you will do. Hey. You.
Aren’t you ready to wake the fuck up just yet?
Take a breath. If you can exhale it away, don’t waste any more of our time writing it.
Settle. I know the coffee isn’t helpful. Wake up, little brother. Arise, newborn father.
Come back to earth planetary lover. And be where you are. Here. In the now.
How is it we can be so sole defined by what comes out of our mouths
and disregard what we feed into them? Do not trust that definition.
Or any that tells you the one that wins is the only side of the coin.
Yes. We all know you write, Jeremiah. We recognize your loud voice and broody
demeanor make you want to be an actor. We see you farm a little on the side.
How nice. But you eat like shit. You drink too much, and not the good stuff.
Your money goes into piss. You lack discipline of any kind, let alone your lonely mind.
And you can be quite a dick, especially to those you love. Who have known you.
Shared in what you call home. You treat them like they found your favorite hiding place.
And now you’re it. My turn to go out looking for people who do not want to be found.
What a game. This life. And Jeremiah. You are too often in your head.
Too dependent on your voice, when your choices should speak for you instead.
But that is hard, isn’t it. To outperform and outshine before there is an audience.
No one around to cheer and look out proud and clap their hands.
But absence of a sound is not the same as silence.
Being alone is not synonymous with loneliness.
And Jeremy, my friend, you are neither.
You are not. And will never be. Alone.
So. Stop hiding place to place.
Pecan eyes. Raisoned eyebrows. Cracker backside.
Glazed on side scowl. Rind on teeth. And strawberry cheeks.
With cookie crumble feet. Breathe. Intake and exhale footsteps on foot trails.
Leave crumbs of yourself.
Ever so often along the way.
Clean your plate.
Pray for the coming of the second helping.
A savior carrying a cheese plate with a butter knife
and thin shaved pork rolled up like eyes.
Granola. You solidify the stool. Give a step up.
A reason to sit. Full with insoluble fiber.
Give body to my shit.
And late night water. How you wake me up in the early hours of by god,
do you still call this morning, it’s far too early, tea kettle cat calls
from the kitchen hall, my oatmeal wants to make a meal of me.
Sat in the dark tying shoelaces like licorice whips
because you know no one wants to eat those.
Are you a ricist? Is it all white?
Or can a little long grain and wild brown
make it into you every once in a while?
How many ways can one go hungry exactly.
Also. Are pop tarts just pie crust and dry jelly filling?
Maybe I’ve been misled.
Maybe I’ve got all this stuff I’ve eaten.
Filling up my head.
The farmer kills chickens when he is hungry, and Japanese beetles,
when they are too, clipping his corn. The farmer still does it.
Crushing shiny bodies between finger and thumb. Red guts.
Wiped on long wagging green tongues. But the beetles keep on.
Out around twelve, more toward dusk. Man has a husk. Armor.
Which can be pierced, eaten into, through.
And chickens, beetles, they do too.
I suppose the farmer feels bitten. Harmed.
And this is why he ends them all. Big or small.
Farm or be farmed.