Gonna write my own winter journal. The first thing it was say, is how strange it is that the blinking light of the smoke detector is like a lighthouse viewed from the rocks by the sea.
The second is how I will return to the monsters that only come out when I take sleeping pills, and I will write them postcards of my travels.
With that we move-
I came from a place on the coast of the Atlantic, and so when thinking of my life, I often think of it in terms of those craft which make their way effortlessly across the sound- I think of the light that moves from the peak of Nobska. I think of forgotten holes between in the rocks where which we jumped across as children.
I think of the bunk bed I signed my name to in Sharpie.
I think of a spiral staircase and Mario Cart 64 in the basement.
I think of an indefinite spring where we wandered through the woods and I found four ticks on the insides of my pants.
We were friends for a long time. I just never knew it. We were deadly bleeding in the brain- we were striped sweaters and the snowfall when the heaters stopped working.
With that we move- toward the end of everything. Growing older, feeling stronger. Waiting for the bruises in our kneecaps to subside so we can run farther and faster before we fall again and repeat the process till we can no longer.
We lift spinnaker and sink our enemies and dream ourselves rogue pirates from Pocha Pond.
We forget crushes we had on childhood friends.
We remove glass from our feet with tweezers borrowed from a friend’s washroom.
I took photos of you by the harbor once, and if we should stay friends despite the distance, I would be alright revisiting the diner and ordering the same things.
I might be ok with kissing you on the dock this time, even though I know nothing would ever come of it.
And what would come of any of it,
but the return to mad dashes on empty roads at two in the morning?
So now I wander the campus looking for my enemies in the rain and the staggered footsteps of pilgrims left to gaze at the stars. We choose our own paths and begin again.
Returning to the beach to take to our skiffs, and our galleons, and our clipper ships.
I will build the Flying Cloud out of paper and ink, and I will sail beyond the horn, and discover something of myself.
I will mark the map,
and I will let the rocking waves carry me inland.
A collection of winters and my attempts to document them have made me ragged-
forget the past of where we’ve been, it feels as wrong as bleeding dry knuckles.
Take to your holds, your windswept hovels and your ships quarters. Below deck, down the old oak folding ladder with speed, and nearly run right into the center table where we ate dinner, built by my grandfather, suspended on a clever balance, like the stove, and the lanterns dry of oil.
Take to your headaches and your rage that casts light onto the water from the salt crusted windows. Tarnish grows on the metal casting around the glass with each voyage from waters rushing with speed. Motion in life personified by the act of sailing for those who can no longer stand on the mainland.
Help the old man into the small boat and haul him up to the deck, his legs at this point in his life, have failed him.
Yet even in skiffs do we lose our minds-
I remember breakfasts in the morning on the ancient dining room table. I don’t know who in my family squirreled it away or sold it.
My grandmother says she’ll never go back to that ruined house now. Empty bedroom, apparitions in the stovepipe- the windows overlooking Pocha Pond.
I would take to that place were it still ours, were it not sold but were instead rotting- The greenhouse was filled with mildew and dead birds last I visited, and a harmonica echoed in the empty rooms that once held furniture. The old man struggled to breathe through the reeds in his age, no longer able to die in the house he himself built.
I would like to sit cross legged on the well loved floorboards, and look out over the collapsing deck. Perhaps the osprey pole is still standing in the marsh. You told me once in a bout of chemically induced adolescence, that you and your friends got drunk and carried the pole there years ago, and in the mud you found deer bones. The sun still shines on that place as it did before. The light taken to our holds when our bodies fail us. When we are angry. When we are powerless and we break the walls in retaliation, and still refuse amputation.
These days, I find myself digging through storerooms.
Dust covered sewing supplies, old outdoorsman clothes, and cracked VHS tapes with TV recorded movies.
Could such relics be found, I’d sit and smoke the pipe that nearly gave you cancer though the collecting fluid in its place damn well finished the job.
The fog of smoke would rise as it did from the office when you practiced law amongst empty bookshelves and a light spot on the floor in the corner that the grand piano once occupied. I stood in its usual place, and felt I was trespassing. The rooms where we stayed are still painted morning yellow and a gentile blue- though the corners now grey with webs, and the bodies of spiders.
You called it Avalon, the island where everybody knew your name, and it passes from us now like storm clouds over the marsh.
Near the end we took to rocking waters sinking ships across the harbor. The deck of your vessel has rotted through. You motioned to me to sit up front in the old skiff as we left the mainland for the last time- away from ruined kingdoms and legends of deer bones.
In those final days you refused the amputation of your legs, though you were no longer able to stand on them.
You called me “my boy” back then.
When my life feels like a gale- I think of you. I think of avalon and the sails of little ships making their way out from the beach head. I think of sunscreen, and I think of the way my hair felt filled with salt.
I want to make the trip again to the land just beyond the marsh, and see who lives there now. I don’t know if they’ve done away with the house.
Still, I will tell them of you,
And from such stories of Avalon,
I will make them know they are trespassing on the graveyard of Arthur.
You’ve got to hand it to that witching time of night-
I think it starts around 8 and ends whenever I say it does.
We always seem to fall into the same rut, the same worn path over my temples.
The same sore eyes and how the act of brushing my teeth makes me put off sleep because I simply can’t be bothered.
The water here tastes like chlorine,
and the faces sometimes the same.
Sleepgels and electronic music.
Some herbal tea for myself, and I keep nervously looking out my window-but I can’t see anything- for all I know, its a year ago, and the younger me is still out there somewhere counting the seconds between the flashes and dashing through rain under trees.
I think I held your hand then- and you cried in my dorm room, and I let you forget that ever happened, even though its a favor you wouldn’t dare return.
I’ll maintain these motorcycle diaries through ruins of lost civilizations, and of my own cheery disposition.
Maybe I’ve learned too many names.
Maybe I need to get out of my own head for a little.
And maybe I would if you would let me with a kind word every so often.
That would be nice.
But you and I keep falling into the same rut.
Semester after semester.
I told you I’d write a poem about you long ago.
Congratulations: You’ve made it into two.
Ready for the speedy return?
For the transatlantic passage?
Ready for the Autumn to come again?
Ready to run, like I did in the dark of Woods Hole years ago.
I think you cried, he stayed behind, and I took off across the parking lots to the bus station.
Steamship in the dark, bathed in florescent spotlights and winter coming soon.
Ya, I’ve spent too much time in this place.
I see that now.
Too much time in the spirit of the ocean, like spirits in the old haunts that are no longer haunted by us, only my visions of you all, as though I were a mystic in a trance.
Or maybe that’s what I’ve become.
Seeking out visions of the time back way back in the wreckage of iron and mires of coffee dates. Dig through the mud to find an old puppet from ages ago.
It was all so new back then.
Hair in the wind, Wool coats and freckles from the end of the world.
Letting go slowly but surely, drinking less caffeine now. Taking more photos. Running across the frozen wastelands of the continent. Whatever these symptoms mean, I don’t know, I’m no medicine man.
Maybe a connexion man. Gathering his memories in the hart of the wood.
I’ve got a new bag and some borrowed car keys.
I’ve got visions of the future billowing up in smoke.
Dance in the light of so called bond fires,
their light is near enough to the truth.