Cold rain falls in the river, flows down to the sea, gets into the skyline, circles endlessly. Same old rain on the wind, same old pain in my soul.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Life and Voyaging

Pardon me, but I'm feeling rather the thief, today. I read this on another site (Never ending Voyage-Hank De Velde) and copied and pasted wholesale. I found it beautiful and encouraging and thought perhaps it may do the same for another.

The quote is from Sterling Hayden who was by no account a saintly type person. He drank way too much and after joining the communist party, turned around and sold out to old J. Edgar giving names and all. Ratbastard.

I include, here, a snippet from an interview with him about that shameful period.

[Q- After the War, you joined in Hollywood the Communist Party?

A- Yes, they put me in what was called "a backlot group," though Ronald Reagan would call it a "cell." I decided right away it wasn't for me. I remember the first meeting I went to, they said the next meeting was Tuesday night at 7:30. My first thought was, "Fuck the Revolution, what about my date with Charlene?"]

Anyway, on to my original thievery;

"In passing ... by Sterling Hayden oct 17

In passing ... "To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea -- cruising, it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about. "'I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it,' some men say. What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine, and before we know it our lives are gone. "What does a man need -- really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in, and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all in the material sense, and we know it. "But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. "Where, then, lies the answer? In choice ! Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?" -- (Sterling Hayden)

Monday, October 12, 2009

People I've Known

As the sand has fallen, I realize that more and more people I once knew I will never know again. It's funny how we never know when the last wave or handshake will come and we take so much for granted.
I remember Perry
just a dollop of a kid.
a snippet of a person
in brown stained levis

we ran
wild and free,
played ball
as if it mattered
and climbed trees
just to fall.

he disappeared in ‘74
along with two others
when that green dart
flew fields of trees
but not nearly
high enough
as an oak huffed it’s chest
to the insanity of youth.

Rob left then, too
a fourteen year old
with a death wish.
adopted, and for some reason,
everyone knew it.
a chipped tooth
and a laugh that couldn’t catch up with itself
it runs still today
in haunted silence.

I lost Dennis a couple years ago.
they said he’d die,
said his heart was sick
but I figured Dennis would get around it.
outsmart it. outplay em. always did.
he was fifty
and out of quarters.

Scotty was smart as a whip
and strong as a bull.
a bar stool philosopher
and a good pitcher.
pinched his pennies
for early retirement.
who knew his heart would just pause
a second too long
on a Sunday highway
and the pennies
would be orphaned
in a ditch of spinning wheels
and twisted handle bars.
I think he was 38
something like that.

I’ve lost a lot of them
some in cars,
some on bikes
some wed
to disease

I’m still losing em,
want names?
why make it personal.

every day
we play Russian roulette
to a loaded house.
somebody’s gonna buy it
and ya can’t fold,
nor beg your way out.
just ask Charlie.
God, how we envied him.
I think he was nineteen
when he and half his family
spiraled a copter into the goldless

you wake up to a full house
aces over queens
and gutter down
to deuces and treys
in the last light
of a hopeless day.

and you never seen it coming
-even when you did.

so lawyer up,
policy pack
and vault tomorrow
in the lessons
of yesterday.

we’re all one muscle,
one split second,
one bad hand
from that
which we all fear most.

perhaps, fear is the thing
we should be fearing
and life
the thing
we should be living.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I Remember It Well

Sometimes, we don’t remember the details exactly as they really happened. And maybe, after all, the devil really is in the details.

I remember it well,
I said,
and you said
but I did anyway.

you looked so-
no, really, you did.
and I laughed to your telling
as you told about
him and, um…

I remember it well.
we took the five
and arrived
and, well,
you know.

It was hot that day,
your hair long
and let down.
I wore that shirt
you never liked.
and you handed me-
no, really, you did.

well, anyway,
we walked through
the park.
I think mid-afternoon.
are you certain?

I remember it well.
your perfume tickling
my nose
and that scarf
wild in the breeze
but I thought…
I was so sure.

did we have coffee?
I thought not.
it snowed.
oh, yes-August
of course

did I have the Buick
are you sure?
was your mother-
no, I suppose not

uh huh,
but I did love you,
did I not?
and you me?
of course.
I remember it well.