Sunday, November 18, 2012

"cold weather"

"cold weather"
after an endless sabbath by jake kilroy.

mangled poetic by the nights that creep into town like syrup,
we drink lukewarm coffee and wait for autumn unrest,
that seasonal mania of sleeping over at beauties' apartments
just to get out of the house.

these are the crippling jokes
of us stepping out for drug store pop-ins
when the dog gets spooked and we look for ghosts,
even after all the funerals we've been to
with no prayers answered.

even with grit in our history,
we worry ourselves sick
because we can't take the quiet sometimes.
this dining room table is like an outpost
in the stillest house of the west,
and we watch the world breathe from it.

this backyard curves in the wind,
as the trees slink together like a morning-after brigade,
all while we can barely dress ourselves
for old movies at the theater in seal beach.

was there ever a time we weren't young?
could a man ever truly grow old if he never stops drinking hot cocoa?
i wonder most when i order black coffee
from a girl half my age, who sees the future as unending,
and i can't think past the heavy heart of tomorrow.

the weather outside feels like the diary of charles dickens
but not quite the journal of edgar allen poe.
i waited years to be a poet instead of someone writing poems,
and it took a broken spirit to finally understand and describe the silence
that pierces mouths and slips through the cracks of a rib cage.

it was worth the wait of adolescence,
as it wore me out and wore me down.
i rattled my guts senseless every winter,
only to pop and shine in the spring.
but it was the weather that pushed into me,
not my smokey air climbing into the chill.
i was 17 in a peacoat, drinking cheap vodka,
atop a parking garage that overlooked old towne,
when i made a promise to myself
to work with words like my hands would be dirtied.
i wanted to write and feel the leverage pulled out of me.
i wanted to go to bed exhausted with sore fingers.
i wanted to describe the cold of winter in the dead of night
so that my own bones would freeze in the desolate wail of the season,
as if the devil met me at the crossroads and begged for a deal,
just so he could hear me talk about nothing and do it well.

No comments: