Falling and flailing, it seems wildly, but, in fact its what we’re programmed to do when we’re falling. I can feel the jet streams taking me, not unlike a leaf. I was in the clouds, but now I’m falling and the mantra in my head: trust the ground. This happens every time I’m falling like this. And just when it feels like I’ll be falling forever the ground reaches out and takes me from the air. Like getting smacked in the back of the head. I am absorbed into her, I am her, and then filtered through her. This is when the ground becomes the clouds and I’m dangling with my head in my new set of clouds, waiting to fall again.
We went to dinner, which apparently is what everyone else does on an ordinary weekday night. We sat in a booth, my daughter and wife across from me.
Dad look. Dad look,”pointing passed me.
a bald guy!you know, I say, some day I could be bald.
But I don’t want a bald father!
travelers stand next to 9-5’ers who line the sidewalk, street-side no parking ’til 9 a.m. Music thunders out of the caffè. One couple chats while they wait, everyone else has noses in screens; trying not to be seen; the starlings flutter near the curb. One brave soul, tempted and cautious, hops under the two-person table to steal a crumb. The homeless man, with matted brown ribbons of hair shuffles down the line audaciously looking, or trying to look, the patrons in the eye. From somewhere inside a name is shouted over the music out onto the street, but no one lifts their head. And the homeless man keeps shuffling down the street, empty handed.
In plump raindrops, the construction worker, with his hard hat and faded denim jeans, dirty-orange safety vest, pulls taut a white string that comes from a manhole in the lane nearest the sidewalk. He labors slowly, like a man pulling a semi; like a centaur. With the rope over his shoulder each step is deliberate as he steps, one by one, away from the manhole. Each step a strain and burden. The object, which he pulls is never seen, always out of sight -much like the ones that are paying him. He puts the rope down, puts his hands on his waist, and stretches his neck. Students walk by, some chatting, some not. The sound of cars driving over the wet pavement rise and fall. Now the man begins to descend into the manhole. After not too long, when he comes back up, he has the other end of the string.
We are the culture to one-up each other.
We are blessed, let us rest.
This poem came about from the observation (after a week of listening to the news) that we seem to be only willing to point a finger outward, while completely unwilling to look inward. Increasingly we see, hear, and feel the effects of an ever expanding economy. This agenda doesn’t care for the human spirit. I see these effects in my thoughts of comparing and judging, and putting down in a desperate effort to lift myself up. Beauty is found everywhere with an open mind.
I’m having dreams again, or rather I’m remembering them. Hold my breath, don’t dare tell anyone, in case they disappear. Up in a puff of smoke. Who’s that Italian broad, ran around with Andy Warhol? she was there. Sophia Loren? nah, fashion designer or something. While adjusting her garter she told me, work. work. work. All the great ones put in the work.
Sometimes I think about wrapping my arms around everyone I see. Give the world a great big hug. Tell you all I’m sorry for not being there, for leaving you stranded, so all alone. But, dad’s here now. I got a little caught up in all that I smote, then I tried to keep you from seeing your mom. I shouldn’t have, she needs you. Sometimes I think about giving everyone I see a big hug. I’m here now; I’ll even be here while you sleep, and when you wake. Hold my hand, we’re crossing the street, the street filled with buzz bombs whirring, but don’t worry, we’ll get through it, we’ll make it to the other side. Sometimes I think, I could be the world’s dad, I’d embrace you with soft eyes, to let you know that you’re accepted. I’m a modern man now, and a modern dad. We all have it in us to give; that could be the power we seek, that could be our value we speak.
After reading SIT ON MY LAP, I’LL SHOW YOU HAPPILY EVER AFTER